The current demand for guns in America is so great that the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) is giving a higher number of delays and, in many cases, allowing the sale to be completed because time for the check expires.
A NICS check is designed to take only minutes, ideally being “instant.” However, there are cases where the FBI reviewers do not immediately find the records they need so they have an option to delay the check, giving reviewers three business days to complete it. If, after three days, they still have not found incriminating records on the would-be buyer, the sale is allowed to proceed.
This means there are three possible outcomes to an NICS check: 1. Pass (good to go). 2. Delay (three business days added for check). 3. Fail (can either occur instantly or during the three day extended review).
Reuters reported there was a “54 percent increase in the number of background checks that were delayed past three days in … March through July.” And over five percent of those delays lasted longer than three days.
Overall, the number of NICS checks conducted March 2020 through July 2020 was up 93 percent, when compared to the same time period in 2019. (Read more from “Demand for Guns Overwhelming FBI Background Check System” HERE)