GAO Finds Few Prosecutions of Those Denied Firearms Purchases

A new report requested by Congress indicates about 112,000 transactions were denied in FY2017, and ATF referred about 12,700 of those cases to its field divisions for further investigation. But U.S. attorney's offices had prosecuted just 12 of those cases as of June 2018.

Falsifying information on a firearms form, such as not disclosing a felony conviction, can result in a fine or imprisonment, or both. But a new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that was requested by Congress indicates only a small percentage of the people who do this are prosecuted.

It says 112,090 firearms purchase transactions were denied on the basis of federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks in FY2017, and ATF referred 12,710 of those cases to its field divisions for further investigation. But U.S. attorney's offices had prosecuted just 12 of those cases as of June 2018, according to the report.

The 112,090 denied cases were about 1.3 percent of the 8,606,286 federal NICS transactions during FY2017.

At the state level, GAO reported that officials from 10 of 13 selected states said they did not investigate or prosecute firearms denials. The other three states investigated a high proportion of denials, with one of those three states reporting about 1,900 referrals for prosecution in 2017 and about 470 convictions.

GAO recommended in the report that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assess the extent to which its field divisions use warning notifications as an enforcement tool, and the report says the U.S. Department of Justice concurred with the recommendation.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2020

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2020, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2019

    November / December 2019

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      Redefining Compliance for the Gas Detection Buyer
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Don't Trip Over the Basics
    • VISION PROTECTION
      What to Look for in Head-to-Toe PPE Solutions
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Effective PPE for Flammable Dust
    View This Issue