Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just walk into a gun store and buy a firearm like you would a loaf of bread. At a minimum, you fill out a federally mandated form and a phone call is made to (usually) state authorities to complete a background check.
There are times where background checks may not be correct. There are times where purchasers might lie on the Firearms Transaction Record, a.k.a. Form 4473, which in part reads…
I understand that a person who answers “yes” to any of the questions 11.b through 11.k is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm … I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under federal law.
So you would think if gun dealers or state law enforcement found out someone lied on a 4473 and/or eventually failed the mandated background check, the ATF would be interested in contacting that person or persons and take the firearm from them.
Not so much in northern Nevada. From the Reno Gazette-Journal.
More than three dozen people in Northern Nevada purchased firearms and kept them despite failing their background checks because the Reno office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives no longer has agents to retrieve those weapons, a Reno Gazette-Journal investigation found.
ATF agents are responsible for taking guns away from people who buy firearms but are later found to have something in their criminal history that prohibits them from owning a weapon. But when the Reno U.S. Attorney’s office told local ATF agents in a September 2011 letter that they would not prosecute their cases until unnamed “issues” were resolved, most of the agents transferred to new posts.
So there is some sort of “dust-up” between prosecutors and agents resulting in people purchasing and owning guns when they are federally unable to do so. Great.
ATF Special Agent Vince Cefalu, a whistleblower in the botched Justice Department Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, said one of ATF’s duties is to collect guns from people who fail the background checks, “but because of the rift with the federal prosecutors in Reno, there are no agents there to retrieve those weapons and there would be no hope of prosecution if they arrested the person.
What’s being done? From Big Government…
Three Congressmen, including Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), have demanded answers from the US Attorney’s office, the ATF office, head of the ATF, and Attorney General Eric Holder. No one has responded to their requests.