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Flaws in FBI Background Check System Fail to Flag Purchases
Filed under: Background Check News
Like many states, Maine depends on the FBI to conduct background checks of people who want to acquire firearms from the state’s federally licensed gun dealers.
And like many states, Maine is a slacker in supplying the records that the FBI depends on to run those checks.
That’s how Raymond Geisel got his guns, including a Glock Model 17 pistol and a semi-automatic version of the AK-47 assault rifle. Geisel had previously been committed to a psychiatric hospital in Bangor, which made him ineligible under federal law to buy or possess a gun. But because state officials had not supplied records of his commitment to the FBI, Geisel passed background checks without being flagged.
Eventually, the law caught up with Geisel. He was arrested in Miami in August 2008 for making threats against Barack Obama, who was campaigning in south Florida around the same time. Another gun that Geisel had acquired in Maine was subsequently recovered by federal agents in his hotel room, along with a combat-style hatchet, armor-piercing ammo and canisters of tear gas.
The data gap that Geisel exploited should have been closed by now. Four years ago, after the massacre at Virginia Tech exposed gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), Congress and the Bush administration took decisive action to shore up the joint state-federal operation, which is supposed to keep guns away from the deranged and the dangerous.
Original Source - iWatch News