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NAT’L – RETAILERS – Almost 300,000 guns sold without background check as pandemic overwhelmed system

As U.S. gun sales continue to surge amid the pandemic, how is the nation’s background-check system keeping up? Not so well, suggests a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit gun-control advocacy group. The report, which was based on FOIA-retrieved F.B.I data, stated that the “National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS) is falling behind due to surging gun sales during the pandemic,” and that there’s been “a 54% increase in the number of background checks that were delayed past three days in the March through July period, as compared with the same time last year.” Why is the three-day mark important? Federal law currently requires people to pass a background check when buying a gun from a licensed dealer. Most background checks go through in minutes. But some take longer, and the F.B.I. has a total of three business days to pass or deny the check. However, if the bureau gives no answer after three days, the person can buy the gun legally.   [full article]

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