04 September, 2010

Paranoid - nah, they really are out to get you

About a year and a half ago, I heard tell of a story. Seems that a gentleman wishing to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer was automatically put on hold for whatever reason. The NICS system was doing its job. This gentleman patiently waited the required time to see if he would be denied or not. Without a phone call back from the NICS system, the FFL sold the firearm to the gentleman.

Everything was okay. People are put on hold for a variety of reasons and eventually the transaction is approved. Not that I care for this system as it infringes upon an enumerated right.

Fast forward a couple of months now when the same gentleman is wishing to expand his firearms collection. He goes to a second dealer, where he attempts to buy another firearm. This time when the NICS check is done, he is informed he is a convicted felon and cannot legally own any firearm. This shocks the gentleman to his core. He already owns one firearm and is wishing to expand more into the gun culture. NICS cannot tell him anymore and the gentleman leaves the store to investigate further.

He goes to the local police department where he requests a background check on his person. It seems that as a young adult this gentleman did something rather stupid that could have resulted in a felony conviction. Instead a prosecutor with enough foresight to realize that the young man before him had merely made a stupid choice and would go on to become a productive member of society.

A deal was struck and the gentleman was sentenced to time served (about 24 hours) and released.
Everything was fine at the time. The young man is free and attends college to earn a degree. He applies for a job that requires a security clearance with the accompanying background check, a most thorough background check. With nary a hiccup, the gentleman is granted the job and is most productive.

In further looking into his denial to purchase a firearm, the paperwork that the court filed to prove he was not a convicted felon so long ago, had been mis-marked and was now causing him grief. It was eventually straightened out and the gentleman's good name was restored. He went on to purchase that second firearm and now owns many more.

And while the gentleman had to go through nowhere near the trouble the next two links are going or went through, it is still a system that is often too far wrong.

And that story brings me to my point, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they are not out to get you.

Update: More evidence for you to don a tinfoil hat.

h/t to Wirecutter for the 2nd link

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