Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rationing Freedom: FedGov Shutdown Curtails FBI Background Check Hours for Gun Dealers

An unanticipated consequence of the Federal Government "Shutdown" that began October 1st has been that the FBI has curtailed the hours of its background check desk--the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS.) This means that FFLs in the 35 states that don't have state-level records check offices can now do the mandatory background checks on gun buyers only from 9 to 5, Washington DC time! (Up until the shutdown, this desk was run 24 hours a day.) This could make purchases at gun shows in northern Idaho (which is on Pacific time, three hours behind Eastern time), quite difficult. Alaska has a four hour time difference! And how can someone buy a gun in Guam, USA? (Guam is 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.)

When the NICS office or their computer system is shut down, no firearm can be transferred except to those buyers who hold a concealed carry permit--which serves as an exemption to the NICS check. So ironically, the most free people in the most free states will face the worst consequences of these limited hours.

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