The Massive Failure of the NICS and Universal Background Checks

Americans shouldn't have to be screened by the government to exercise a constitutionally-protected right.

Not only are background checks (the National Instant Check System and universal background checks) unconstitutional, they epically fail at stopping criminals and crazies from getting guns.

Gun Owners of America has documented how background checks for gun buyers are ineffective, unconstitutional and dangerous.

Guns.com ran several articles within just one week showing how criminals are easily arming themselves without submitting NICS checks.

Just consider these following examples.

1. Criminals often use straw purchases to acquire guns (even though straw purchasing is illegal):

Woman pleads guilty to 7 counts of straw gun purchases

A Pennsylvania woman will serve up to a decade in prison after pleading guilty this week to buying firearms for her nephew who was barred from gun ownership.

Vikki Towns-Perez, 36, of Chester, was sentenced to five to 10 years by a Delaware County Common Pleas Court judge on Tuesday, as reported by the Delaware County Daily Times. Her negotiated plea included six consolidated third-degree felony counts of selling a firearm to an ineligible transferee and one count of the same charge as a second-degree felony.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan’s office, Towns-Perez bought at least nine handguns between February 2012 and May 2013, to include several Kel-Tec 9mm semi-autos. Although she purchased them under her own name, the guns were for her nephew, who she thought to have been convicted of numerous crimes. In each case, Towns-Perez pocketed $150-200.

Five of the handguns went on to be recovered by authorities after being used in felonies. One was tied to a drug-related homicide.

"We know that the vast majority of the illegal guns on the streets used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchases," Whelan said. "In the case of Vikki Towns-Perez, she purchased these guns without any regard for the law, knowingly giving them to an individual she believed to be a criminal."

2. Or criminals simply steal guns:

Alabama AG asks public for help in locating guns stolen from evidence vault

The attorney general in Alabama is asking residents there to look out for stolen guns after more than 200 firearms were taken from the evidence vault at the Selma Police Department earlier this year.

Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a press release Monday that news reports claiming that all the stolen guns have been recovered are untrue, and that more are out there.

The announcement comes as three suspects in the evidence vault thefts face charges. Adrianne Michelle Canterbury worked as an evidence technician at the department. She’s been charged with first-degree theft of property and an ethics law violation. Her husband, Richard Alan Canterbury, is charged with first-degree receiving stolen property. And Candice Byrum is charged with second-degree receiving stolen property.

In June, Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier said Adrianne Canterbury allegedly took more than 200 guns from the vault from Nov. 2016 until Feb. 2017. Then, he said, her husband would repair the stolen weapons and ready them for sale. When officers searched the Canterbury’s home, they found the missing guns, some of which had been confiscated as evidence in criminal cases.

"What we found there was probably the largest stash of guns from a criminal perspective. It was a little overwhelming to see that amount," Collier said. "There may be others that weren’t [taken from evidence] but we’re trying to work that. The bulk were taken out of the evidence room."

3. Even Illinois’ strict gun laws – which impose universal background checks – do not stop illegal gun sales in Chicago:

Chicago cousins charged for illegally selling guns on south side

Two Chicago cousins are facing federal firearms charges for illegally selling guns on the Windy City’s south side.

According to a Justice Department news release, 26-year- old Benjamin Vasquez Jr. was arrested Aug. 4 after illegally selling 16 firearms on Chicago’s south side over a four month period earlier in 2017. The firearms dealt included a sawed-off shotgun and an AK-47 rifle.

Unbeknownst to Vasquez, he was dealing the guns to a buyer cooperating with law enforcement. The buyer was secretly recording the transactions. One of the transactions went down in the New City neighborhood on Feb. 21 and involved the sale of a .22-caliber pistol.

4. Criminals can even acquire guns from corrupt law enforcement:

Two former Texas deputies admit to stealing dozens of guns from evidence room

Two former deputies in Texas face up to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to stealing several dozen weapons from an evidence room and pawning some of them or selling them on the Internet. Thomas Glen Smith, 50, and Philip Gary Slaughter, 42, both pleaded guilty to one count of possession or sale of stolen firearms, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Texas.

Smith and Slaughter worked in the evidence room at the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office. In Nov. 2015, Slaughter obtained a court order to destroy hundreds of firearms being held in the evidence room. But they didn’t destroy all of them, and instead stole about 40 of the weapons, before trying to sell them at local pawn shops or using Facebook to try to find buyers.

5. Or guns can be stolen from law enforcement:

15-year- old charges for stealing guns from police cruiser

Officers with the Port St. Lucie Police Department arrested a 15-year- old Florida boy Tuesday who is accused of breaking into a police car earlier this year and stealing a number of items, including multiple firearms.

The teen, whose name was not released, is facing charges for armed burglary to a vehicle, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, felony criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor, resisting officers without violence, and violation of Probation, according to the Port St. Lucie Police Department.

Authorities launched an investigation after receiving calls of shots fired in a residential area of Port St. Lucie on March 26 around 2 a.m. Responding officers soon located a patrol vehicle from the Fort Pierce Police Department parked in the driveway of a nearby home. The doors of the patrol car were opened and it appeared the vehicle had been targeted for a burglary.

Background checks – no matter their intrusiveness or thoroughness – completely fail at stopping bad guys from getting guns.


Composed by Jordan Stein, who is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America. He can be followed on Twitter: @jordankstein