While so-called “non-essential” government workers are off the job today, that does not mean the Second Amendment has been suspended because the FBI’s National Instant Check System is up and running, despite what CNN and one Oregon television news agency suggested today and yesterday.
According to Northwest gun dealers contacted by Examiner, the system is working fine. National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea weighs in here.
CNN’s report may have been wishful thinking when it did a “20 questions” report this morning that included this gem under Item 14: “If you want a gun permit or a passport, that won't happen anytime soon.”
And KATU’s Monday report was headlined, “Government shutdown may mean gun-background-check slowdown,” while the story below said nothing of the such, instead acknowledging, “No one really knows what to expect this time.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation yesterday assured readers in its weekly Bullet Points column that, “In the event of a government shutdown on Tuesday, the FBI's NICS Section would remain fully operational and maintain normal business hours. However, ATF's Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS) would effectively be shut down, operating with minimal staff.”
All of this leads many gun owners – who also happen to be taxpayers – to ask questions nobody on Capitol Hill seems able to answer. Indeed, if one were to ask many gun owners about the shut down, they might think this is a good start and would suggest a long-term continuation. In the meantime:
1. What is a “non-essential” government employee, exactly, and why do we need anyone on the public payroll whose job is described as “non-essential?”
2. If the NICS system can operate “with minimal staff,” why doesn’t that happen all the time?
3. Since Congress and the White House seem unable to reach an amenable solution in the interest of the taxpayers, why are any of them getting paid? Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is donating his salary to charity for every day the shutdown continues. Why aren’t Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Harry Reid and even Barack Obama following his lead?
4. National parks and other facilities are closed to the public. Does anyone camping in a national park actually require a ranger?
5. If it’s all about money, how much did the Forest Service spend this year and last to “decommission” perfectly good forest roads, which reduces public access to publicly-owned federal forests? This is a pet peeve across the West especially during hunting season.
While the government allegedly shut down, Obamacare is up and running. Figure that one out.
Speaking of NICS, the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced that the system will be operating with extended hours on "Black Friday," Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Last year on that date, a record number of background checks was conducted. Here is the announcement:
"The FBI NICS Section has announced extended hours of service on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 ("Black Friday"), for E-check Users and state Point-of-Contact (POC) Programs. Typically, the NICS is available daily from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). However, in response to requests to bring NICS into service earlier on "Black Friday" to better accommodate typical business-hour extensions throughout the retail industry and due to a long history of record-breaking volume on this day, the FBI will bring the NICS in-service starting at 4:30 a.m. EST. for NICS E-check Users and for state POC Programs. The NICS Contracted Call Centers will open, as normal, at 8 a.m. EST."