That is right. Criminal history, drug use and mental illness are red flags that can prompt the FBI to reject an applicant for a gun purchase. the problem? Ninety nine percent of the time, it never happens.
CNN reported yesterday, the Brady Campaign, a leading gun control group, gave 26 states and F grade in its 2013 score card with Florida being one of those states, and by far the most densely populated, with its large cities and suburban sprawl.
Assault-style weapons, like the Sig Sauer AR-15 used in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on Sunday, are legal for anyone in Florida who can pass a federal background check. However, in states like California, Connecticut and New York state laws require and extra level of screening. “A state-level background check by a FCRA regulated background screening company is a good security measure,” said Bryan Mower, Western Reporting, Inc. CEO. “There are over 3,000 courts nationwide and none talk to each other. A simple misspelling of a name on a fraudulent identification can get through the FBI database. This is why states hire outside providers of criminal information like Western Reporting as a screening provider. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation misses one in ten background checks, we miss one in 4,000. I like our odds on keeping people safe.”
“Another problem,” said Mower, “is the sheer amount of checks conducted. The FBI is on pace this year to exceed over 23 million background checks. With companies like Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger looking to grow by 30% this year, well, that is a lot of guns sold.”
According to state Administrative Office of the Courts, 9 out of 10 assault or drug offenses are pleaded from a felony to a misdemeanor therefore eliminated from the FBI data base and subsequently free from red flags when purchasing firearms.
Mower stated that the answer to this problem is to ask state legislators to pass laws to conduct secondary searches which will keep criminals with any assault infrations from purchasing fire arms and include the cost of the background check in firearm purchases. “This is about keeping our families safe and protected,” said Mower. “Orlando is tragedy that simply cannot be repeated and the FBI data bases are not complete enough to monitor success of this procedure in every state. It is as simple as that. States need to take responsibility for our safety too. ”
Omar Mateen, shooter in the Orlando massacre, passed and FBI background check, according to the FBI. This is despite having been twice investigated by the FBI as a potential threat, but then Cleared.