Gun background checks hit an all-time high on Black Friday

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The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has recently been scrutinized and put under a verbal microscope when Attorney Jeff Sessions directed the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to do a comprehensive review of the NICS and its procedures.

This year, the number of filings made to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System - that of 203,086 requests on Black Friday - topped last year's tally for a single-day high of 185,713. "First thing you've got to do is make sure all gun sales are covered by background checks".

It is a popular time of year to buy guns. Federal law prohibits anyone from selling a gun to someone who has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child. The agency also says the system "ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers". That failure allowed him to buy weapons. He said the Texas shooting "revealed that relevant information may not be getting reported to the NICS - this is alarming and it is unacceptable".

A total of 26 people were killed November 5 when a gunman opened fire on people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Devin P. Kelly, the gunman who killed 26 people, was charged with assault in 2012 according to Air Force records, and this information was never submitted to the NICS database.

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But the system has been struggling under the weight of an exponential increase in background checks in recent years.

This was the third straight year Americans were looking to purchase guns at a record pace as there were 185,713 requests last year and 185,345 in 2015. The search sometimes requires inquiries to police departments, courthouses and prisons across the country to match final dispositions to the incomplete records.

Federal authorities, meanwhile, have for years openly complained that incomplete databases and staff shortages make it hard to keep pace with the constant stream of background checks required of most new gun purchasers and efficiently trace firearms used in crimes.

Donald Trump's pro-gun presidency has contributed to a slowdown in sales this year.

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