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Delays in firearm FBI background checks prompt calls for change

Posted at 2:19 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 17:42:09-04

EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WXYZ) — In metro Detroit and across the country, gun shops often face delays when running FBI background checks. It's something now prompting calls for change.

At Action Impact Firearms & Training Center in Eastpointe, customer Justin Baldrige has come to appreciate the steps taken to prevent trouble.

“It’s all about safety. Just taking that little bit of extra precaution, as always,” Baldrige said.

Owner Bill Kucyk told 7 Action News while the federal government has a shorter period to complete a check, he waits longer to reduce the chance of a gun falling into the wrong hands.

“The law says after three business days if it’s not resolved, we don’t have a responsibility and we can transfer the firearm. We arbitrarily make that seven days,” Kucyk said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has in some cases had to step in as well. If it turns out a gun was sold to someone failing a check, they are tasked with retrieving it from the buyer.

As for the lengthier times to wait for a check, Kucyk points to delays in accessing local arrest and mental health records, plus the increased amount of gun sales.

“There are so many tweaks. I think it can be improved,” retired ATF Supervisor Donald Dawkins said.

Dawkins supports lawmakers extending the mandatory wait period.

“Why not wait a little bit longer if it means less illegal guns on the street? I just don’t understand it,” Dawkins said.

Kucyk adds it’s important to remember any gun shop can deny a purchase that they feel raises concerns at any time.