On Wednesday (11-22-17), U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to the FBI and ATF directing them to look at several issues as it relates to reporting information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
This directive comes after the Sutherland Springs, TX church shooting after the Air Force has said it failed to provide information as required about the shooter, and former serviceman, Devin Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI’s criminal database.
In a releases statement, U.S. Attorney General Sessions said “I am directing the FBI and ATF to do a comprehensive review of the NICS and report back to me the steps we can take to ensure that those who are prohibited from purchasing firearms are prevented from doing so.”
Just days after Sessions issues his directive, a new report from the Washington post shows thousands of people wanted by law enforcement officials were removed from a criminal background check database, and can now purchase a firearm.
The names were removed from the list in February of 2017 following a decision from the FBI to narrow its definition of who is considered a “fugitive from justice.”
The new definition only applies to people who have crossed state lines, meaning fugitives who were previously on the list can now purchase a firearm unless barred from doing so for some other reason.
500,000 people identified as fugitives before the memo, but that number dropped to less than 800 after the changes were made.
The NRA has responded to calls for stricter regulation, saying the problem is not background checks but the information that goes into them.