Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Strains Background Check System

The 11/28/14 Idaho Statesman reports that Black Friday gun sales are straining the background check system:
Black Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases in the U.S., and there are concerns about an overload on the national system for background checks.

Requests for gun checks speed up to nearly two a second during the holiday shopping season, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

Read more here:

NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day last year. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday 2013. They're bringing in 100 more workers than usual for the post-Thanksgiving rush this year.
The call centers have no access to privileged information about buyers' backgrounds, and make no decisions. They just type in their name, address, birthdate, Social Security Number and other information into the system. On Black Fridays, the work can be grueling: One woman took a call that lasted four hours when a dealer phoned in the maximum 99 checks.

"Rules had to be stretched," recalled Sam Demarco, her supervisor. "We can't transfer calls. Someone had to sit in her seat for her while she went to the bathroom."

Read more here:


  1. "Rules had to be stretched,"

    Passive much?

    "Mistakes were made."

  2. Hopefully just the call center is overloaded. A transaction processing system that couldn't handle the 1-2 checks per second would be pretty pathetic - we were beating that rate 40 years ago!

  3. And next week, Washington's back door registration program kicks in. (Let's be honest, that's what it is, even though for the first few decades it won't have a lot of the handguns in its DMV database).

    The NRA really disappointed me on this one.