Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Thousands buy guns in US despite being barred

AP , WASHINGTON

More than 7,000 people who should have been barred from buying guns were able to buy them anyway in 2002 and last year, according to a US Justice Department review.

The government rarely pro-secutes such cases, said the report released on Monday.

Federal law stipulates that gun buyers might have to wait up to three business days before receiving their weapons; under a system of instant FBI background checks instituted in 1998, most sales are approved much quicker. Of the 17 million gun purchases in the last two years, 122,000 were denied because of the checks.

If the check isn't completed within the period, however, the law says the purchase must go through. In the last two years, there were a combined 7,030 "delayed denial" cases in which the FBI found that a prohibited person was able to get a gun after the period expired.

The weapon were retrived in 97 percent of those cases, though it sometimes it took months.

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