New Background Check Policy Threatens Indiana Gun Shows

From an Email:

Indiana Emergency!

Here in Indiana, the National Instant Check System, the background check required to purchase firearms, is scheduled to only be available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm starting August 25th. This coincides with the August Indy 1500.

This will mean the end of gunshows here in Indiana if this is allowed to happen! I have included a copy of an article published in the Sierra Times - We must not allow this to happen.

Please call your Indiana General Assembly members, the mayor, even the state police, and let them know how you feel.

O'Bannon 317 226 4567
Indiana Senate 1 800 382 9467
Indiana Representatives Switchboard 1 800 382 9842
Indiana State Police Non-Emergency 317-889-8577
New Background Check Policy Threatens Indiana Gun Shows
Sierra Times
By J.J. Johnson

The Indiana State Police are catching hell from all directions over a new background check policy that if implemented, could kill the largest gun show in Indiana - the Indianapolis 1500.

As seen before in the recent past, the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) has suffered breakdowns at the worst times - like weekends during large guns shows. But in the case of Indiana, the next system breakdown will be man-made.

It started in the form of a fax from the Indiana State Police, also received by Sierra Times. It was short and sweet:

National Instant Background Checks New Hours

Starting August 25, 2000 - 9:00am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday
(No State Holidays)

Not big news to some - even gun dealers. But to Federal Firearm License holders (FFL's), this is like an administrative and economic bullet between the eyes. The big gun show in Indianapolis (the Indy 1500 Gun Show) takes place August 25 through 27 - right after the new hours go into effect.

Major Karen Butts of the Indiana State Police said when called, "It's an administrative decision based on funding." She went on to say, "They can't pay people enough to hang around."

In Indiana, the funding for the NICS program comes from fees citizens pay for a license to
carry a firearm - $15.00 per background check. Figuring that 400,000 residents are licensed according to state records, this would place $6 million in the state's war chest. But the 'official word' was lack of funding. Just to note: The Indiana State police charges each FFL holder
$3.00 per back ground check as well.

Leonard Grummell, owner of Len's Gun Shop in South Bend said he suspects the move was made due to pressure from the FBI and ATF. "This will affect the Indianapolis 1500 Gun show which will take place the same weekend," Grummell said. "If the FBI doesn't pick up the slack, there won't be any handguns sales. If the FBI is closed in West Virginia for the weekend, there will be no sales at that show."

Since this was apparently a move by the State of Indiana, federal law (Brady Bill) dictates that if a state cannot meet the requirement of Brady (instant background checks) for whatever reason, the federal government (FBI) must step in to handle the duties. But get this: There is a clause in Brady that says the FBI cannot cover a state's background check responsibilities without congressional oversight - meaning approval from the local congressman
representing a particular district(s).

Unless this policy changes (and pressure is being applied by gun dealers across Indiana), folks planning to buy handguns in Indiana that weekend (or any following weekend) will just be out of luck. Indiana is one of six states that perform their own NICS checks for handguns, while the FBI handles the long guns. The other states are Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon,
Washington, and Wisconsin.



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