Gun owners, brace yourselves: this clip may make your blood boil.
In a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing held yesterday, FBI Director James Comey was brought before legislators to primarily discuss the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) began his question-and-answer period with Comey with a seemingly simple question: “If I buy a gun on the internet, is it delivered to my home?”
Comey, perhaps surprised by the question, seemed to stumble. Graham clarified, asking “if I try to buy a gun on the internet, where do I pick it up?”
Looking perplexed, the FBI Director replied “I assume it’s shipped to you, but I don’t know for sure, actually.” You can see the exchange in the video embedded below:
“Okay, well, let’s find out the answer to that,” replied Graham.
Comey’s response, if not intended to be expanded upon at some point, is baffling. As the Director of the FBI, he should be well aware of the fact that if a private citizen purchases a firearm on the internet, that gun is then shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL). The individual must then pick up the gun from his or her FFL and pass a background check to take ownership of the gun, a process that is often referred to as a transfer.
As almost all gun owners are aware, the background check involves the FFL contacting the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) via phone or computer, a service managed by the FBI, to determine whether the potential transferee is a person prohibited from owning firearms. Assuming the transferee passes the check, they get the gun they purchased online.
If Comey is not aware of how a critical part of the firearms purchasing process managed by his agency is conducted, the implications are troubling.
Graham did not return to the point later in his questioning, and after the query he began asking Comey about other items related to the San Bernardino attack. Though the clip provided above is brief and could be seen as being taken out of context, a complete recording of the committee from C-SPAN can be seen below. Graham’s interview begins around the 47-minute mark.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the FBI Director is unfamiliar with the process of purchasing a firearm or was something else afoot?
Image is a screenshot of video by Motherboard on YouTube