Those who are continually seeking new and creative ways to undermine our constitutional rights often assert that background checks are “no big deal.” While the Constitution makes no mention of background checks or provides any provision whereby citizens must ask the government for permission to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms, the left (and too much of the right) continues to labor under the mistaken belief that a little infringement upon our uninfringeable rights are okay.
Not only should each and every American reject background checks as a matter of principle; Americans should also be alarmed at the prospect of error on the part of the federal government. Bureaucracies make mistakes. Hell, that’s practically all they seem to do in this day and age. So, it should come as little surprise to discover that law-abiding Americans are routinely snared in the complicated bureaucracy of the federal government when they attempt to purchase a firearm and are wrongly denied due to errors.
So, if one is wrongly denied during a background check (a violation to which no American should have to submit in the first place), what should be done? Usually, a retry will clear-up the error after the law-abiding citizen appeals the decision that was made in error.
Now, those who are wrongly denied have no legitimate recourse as the federal government has stopped processing appeals claims for citizens who have been denied during their background checks.
Calling the outrageous turn of events a “makeshift reorganization,” the USA Today reports that background check processors have been redeployed to help process the overwhelmed bureau tasked with processing background check requests.
Because of this reallocation of personnel, they have stopped processing denial appeals and already, a backlog of 7,100 denial appeals has piled-up, leaving 7,100 Americans denied their constitutional rights and with no recourse to regain them.
The NRA highlights the danger of this current bureaucratic mess:
It is important to understand the severe scope of the problem of erroneous denials, and thus the need for a well-functioning denial appeals process. FBI’s own informational materials provide evidence of the system’s potential for mistakes. The agency’s 2014 NICS operations report, for example, explains that a denial merely “indicates the prospective firearms transferee or another individual with a similar name and/or similar descriptive features was matched with either federally prohibiting criteria or state-prohibiting criteria.” In 2014, 90,895 federal NICS checks resulted in a denial. That same year, 4,411 NICS denials were later overturned through the appeals process, or close to 5 percent of total denials that year.
Moreover, there is significant reason to believe that the number of erroneous denials is far greater than those overturned on appeal. Some individuals incorrectly denied may feel intimidated by the appeals process or simply dealing with the federal government in this capacity. In her book, Brady Denial? You CAN Get Your Guns Back!, Attorney Cindy Ellen Hill, who has helped clients navigate the NICS denial appeals process, writes, “people who don’t appeal their Brady denials make that choice based on a lack of information, lack of money to hire a lawyer or investigator to assist them, or out of fear of drawing further unwanted attention from federal and state law enforcement authorities.”
Suspending the NICS denial appeal process takes on an even more sinister character when one contemplates the chief gun control measure advocated by the Obama administration. Under a “universal” background check scheme, individuals would be unable to lawfully obtain firearms without subjecting themselves to a NICS check. If such legislation was currently in force, an individual who found themselves erroneously flagged by NICS, no matter how law-abiding, would have no avenue to legally acquire a firearm and no means to challenge their incorrect NICS status, obliterating their ability to exercise their rights in perpetuity, short of judicial intervention.
Americans should not have to beg for their Second Amendment rights any more than the New York Times ought to gain approval from the government to print an editorial. According to enlightenment thinking as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, our rights are human rights, derived from God and protected by government. They are not derived from government. Thus, any claim that the government should be the deciders of who shall and shall not retain these human rights is a usurpation of our fundamental freedoms as human beings.
To further clarify why this denial of our rights is so dangerous, one only need look to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “A right delayed is a right denied.”