An audit released Wednesday finds federal authorities deny about one percent of all attempted firearm sales using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Of the 51 million background checks processed through the Justice Department between 2008 and 2014, the FBI denied 500,000 gun purchases. Of those, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives passed only 558 applications to local U.S. Attorney offices, who in turn considered prosecuting about half of the cases referred.
While audit findings show both the FBI and the ATF maintain “effective internal control systems” preventing prohibited persons from buying guns from federally licensed dealers in 99 percent of cases, Inspector General for the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz said the system needs “a number of key improvements.”
“Although the overall error rate is low, an isolated breakdown can have tragic consequences,” he said Wednesday. “For example, the defendant charged with killing