Gun-Buying Rush Swamps FBI Background Checkers

Photo (cc) by Julian-G. Albert

Guns and ammunition flew off store shelves last year, as the FBI conducted a record high 23.1 million firearm background checks in 2015. President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun-control laws earlier this month further fueled the gun-buying frenzy.

The FBI says it is so overwhelmed by the number of criminal background checks needed for potential new gun purchases that it has been forced to temporarily stop processing appeals from thousands of prospective gun buyers who have been denied a gun purchase, according to USA Today.

Instead of working on some 7,100 appeals, the FBI’s 70 appeals analysts are processing criminal background checks for new gun purchases through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a task they’ve been assigned since October.

Stephen Morris, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division, told USA Today that the shift was necessary to help the agency meet a swell of firearm background check requests, as Americans rushed out to buy guns in the wake of mass shootings and an increased fervor in the nationwide debate about gun control.

“The last several months, we’ve kind of found ourselves in a perfect storm,” Morris explained.

Last year was huge for gun sales. Not only does 2015 hold the annual record for firearm background checks, it also holds the record for the most checks conducted in a single day and the most checks conducted in a month (December).

Background checks for prospective gun buyers are expected to continue their climb in 2016, with an anticipated 6.5 percent increase, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In addition to reassigning its appeals analysts, the FBI has canceled all annual leave for its more than 400 employees who process background checks and temporarily pulled personnel from other jobs to help keep up with the demand.

Kim Del Greco, section chief of the NICS unit, told the WSJ that she expects to bring on an extra 100 people this year and, if funding is approved, an additional 100 workers could be added in 2017.

Of course, it’s not clear how long the gun-buying frenzy will last.

After record high gun sales in late 2013 — which came in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six adults, among others — gun and ammo sales nose-dived in January 2014, once fears over tighter gun-control laws subsided.

What do you think of the rush to purchase firearms in the United States? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs
5 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

These free apps and websites can help you get cash back on groceries, shop more efficiently or squeeze the most from the ingredients you have on hand.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

These Medicare Expenses Will Jump in January
These Medicare Expenses Will Jump in January

Some Medicare premiums and deductibles will take a bigger bite out of Social Security payments next year.

5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement
5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement

Medicare can be confusing. Beware these missteps — which can hike your costs.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.