The Failure of Arizona Criminal Background Checks

Most people only think of criminal background checks when they’re applying for a new job or loan or to buy a weapon.  However, criminal background checks can be done, to varying degrees, by most anyone.  Consider consulting the following website to see how to request your record:

For the cost of $18 and the cost of fingerprints you can get your whole FBI file within weeks. The ease of obtaining such information is a great benefit to our society.  Our employers can hire trustworthy people and dangerous people have a much more difficult time getting their hands on guns.

Yet, this past month a study was released by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission that found that a number of offenses, including domestic violence offenders, felons, and mentally ill individuals may not be recorded within the FBI’s National Criminal Background Check System.

Thousands of offenders could be missing from the system.  The cause of this is both shocking and obvious: someone didn’t file paperwork. Lack of oversight lead to a system that has potentially put people in danger.  Not only that, but the different state agencies intensified the errors by holding onto various reporting guidelines that stalled and mitigated the system.

This oversight increases the likelihood that individuals with mental instability and/or a criminal record could pass the background checks required to purchase a firearm.

Though unsettling, steps are being taken to update the system and correct the errors. But, once the updates come through, expect some interesting lawsuits from people getting fired after their criminal history comes to light.