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Tag: background checks

FBI Fails to Vet Arrest Records for Frequently Used Database on Crimes

handcuffsBy Steve Neavling

The FBI is no longer vetting arrest records from states in an apparent violation of federal regulations that require the bureau to exclude from its database “nonserious” arrests and convictions, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The database is used by the government to conduct background checks on job applicants.

Some “nonserious” crimes are, such as curfew violations and public drunkenness, are ending up in the database.

Vetting the records for crime severity “impractical,” said Jeremy Wiltz, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s Information Services Branch.

The database includes nearly 80 million people, and the FBI last year conducted 30 million criminal background checks.

Fears of Stronger Gun Laws Apparently Fueled Record Purchases of Firearms

handgun-photoBy Steve Neavling

Gun sales surged in August following a series of high-profile shootings that spread fear of stronger firearm laws, the National Review reports. 

The 1.7 million background checks conducted by the FBI in August were more than any other August since the checks began in 1998.

Monthly highs also were recorded in June and July, with 1.5 million and 1.6 million, respectively.

Background checks are required of gun buyers at federally-licensed dealers, but they don’t represent all firearm purchases, which means the number is likely higher.

ATF: Man Who Killed 2 Virginia Journalists Legally Purchased Gun in July

 Vester Lee Flanagan II

Vester Lee Flanagan II

By Steve Neavling

The gun used to killed two TV reporters in Virginia were purchased legally by the man who pulled the trigger, The Roanoke Times reports. 

Vester Lee Flanagan II bought the Glock 9 mm pistol in July from a federally licensed gun dealer in Virginia, an ATF official said.

ATF spokesman Tom Faison said a proper background check was conducted.

“I have no indication that anything was done illegally or improperly, or any shortcuts were made,” Faison said.

DEA Agents Busted Lying About Secret Ownership of Strip Club

By Steve Neavling

Two DEA workers are accused of secretly running a strip club in New Jersey and then lying about their ownership interests during national security background checks.

The New York Times reports that the officials were David Polos, who most recently served as an assistant special agent in charge, and Glen Lover, a civilian employee. They are charged with one count of making false statements and face up to five years in prison.

During the background checks, the men said they did not have ownership interests in the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge.

The men had “important and sensitive”  jobs, said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“They also had other secret jobs,” he added, “which they concealed from D.E.A. in order to maintain their national security clearance, betraying the oaths they had taken and creating needless risk for the agency they worked for.”



Illinois Issues Medical Marijuana Licenses without FBI Background Check

By Steve Neavling

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner surprised many people this week when he issued licenses to 70 medical marijuana businesses before they would have to undergo criminal background checks as required by state law, The Associated Press reports.

Rauner said he began issuing the licenses because patients shouldn’t have to wait any longer following the mishandling of the licensing process under former Gov. Pat Quinn.

Once the FBI authorizes the use of its criminal history checks, Rauner said the businesses that have been issued licenses would still be subjected to the background checks.

Illinois’ medical marijuana law excludes anyone with a violent crime or drug felony.


Visitors to Military Bases Will Now Be Screened by FBI Database

Ford Hood Darnall Hospital

Ford Hood Darnall Hospital

Steve Neavling

Anyone trying to enter a military base will have to be screened against the FBI’s criminal database, reports.

The idea is to determine whether visitors have been arrested, have a  felony conviction or outstanding warrants. It comes in the wake of  the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas  and Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Troops, veterans, relatives and others with access have traditionally been checked against a Department of Defense database.

The DOD database will begin tapping into the FBI database on Friday.

FBI Refuses to Conduct Pot Background Checks in Washington State Despite Actions in Colorado

Steve Neavling

The FBI won’t conduct nationwide background checks on people applying to operate a legal marijuana business in Washington state in stark contrast to the handling of applicants in Colorado, the Associated Press reports.

The FBI’s refusal to conduct the checks surprised officials in Washington because the federal agency does similar background checks in Colorado, where marijuana also is legal for recreational use.

The inconsistent practices of the FBI worries some.

Others in Washington state are worried that people with egregious criminal histories will end up with pot licenses.

Report: FBI Background Checks Are Riddled with Inaccuracies That Cost People Jobs

Steve Neavling

As employers increasingly rely on FBI background checks before hiring prospective employees, a new report shows the process is riddled with errors and omissions, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The report from the Employment Law Project estimates that 1.8 million workers are subjected to faulty background checks.

“As millions of workers struggle to navigate a still-challenging job market, the FBI must avoid creating wrongful barriers that cause unnecessary job loss and financial harm,” the report’s authors wrote. “The FBI is more than a mere receptacle of information; the imprimatur of the FBI marks the records as authoritative and trustworthy.”

That’s not good news for the increasing number of people who are subjected to FBI background checks. In the past decade, the number increased six times to 17 million last year.