This issue is addressed in detail in our summary on Universal Background Checks & the Private Sale Loophole. Default Proceeds: Though 91% of background checks conducted through NICS provide an answer within minutes about whether an individual is legally allowed to buy a gun, about 9% of cases require further investigation and review by FBI and ATF agents.
As a result, the FBI has recommended extending the three-day period to allow more agents more time to complete background check investigations and to reduce the number of prohibited purchasers who are able to purchase firearms by default.
Under federal law, if a firearms dealer who has initiated a background check has not been notified within three business days that the sale would violate federal or state laws, the sale may proceed by default.
Many default proceed cases require extra time and attention precisely because the firearm purchaser has a long record of dangerous red flags; according to data compiled by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, default proceed sales are 8 times more likely to involve a prohibited purchaser than other background checks.
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