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FBI Halts all Background Check Denials Appeals Processing

FBI Assistant Director Stephen Morris

In a recent report about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, it seems like the FBI has all but halted the processing of background check denial appeals due to its examiners being completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of checks that were being requested the past year.

It was revealed that the Bureau had actually stopped processing denial appeals as early as October last year because of the record breaking amount of background checks being requested during that time. The number had of course only increased over the months that followed, especially during the Black Friday sales and during the holiday season.

There are currently now a total of 7,100 appeals that have been indefinitely put on hold and are currently backlogged until the FBI manages to increase its manpower and processing capacity. The National Rifle Association has released a statement following the reports claiming that the FBI’s decision to put all the appeals on hold is tantamount to denying the citizens their rights to bear arms.

Stephen Morris, who works as the FBI’s Assistant Director revealed in an interview with USA Today that they had actually assigned 70 of their appeals agents to temporarily help process the increasing amount of background check requests following the numerous mass shootings and the threat of stricter gun control regulations that erupted last year. Morris also revealed that the department also had to suspend annual leaves for over 400 agents working at the FBI NICs facility in West Virginia.

There is currently no word yet as to when the processing of denial appeals will be restarted despite the fact that President Obama had already submitted his executive orders which included the hiring of hundreds of new examiners to bolster the Bureau’s background checking capabilities.

Last year’s background checks set new records for the Bureau as the number of checks done by the end of the year had reached a total of 23.1 million. The figure translates to about a 10.4 percent increase as compared to the previous year.

 
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