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
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together a resource that’s easy to digest so you can get answers to your training questions and ensure you're complying with OSHA's standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus