LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky is leading the country for the amount off firearms background checks performed each year.
According to the FBI's National Instant Background Checks System, or NICS, Kentucky performed 2,909,547 background checks from Jan. 1 through Nov. 30 of 2015. That is nearly 1.5 million more than the second highest ranked state, California with 1,508,133 background checks and Texas with 1,332,475.
A NICS spokesperson confirmed that is because Kentucky is one of few states in the country that performs background checks on concealed carry permits on a monthly basis. Kentucky State Police would not comment on the process.
Barry Laws owns Openrange and is also the president of the American Firearms Retailers Association. He said he is in favor of a monthly scanning system.
"If someone gets involved in a felony for some reason, then they can't own a firearm, if they have domestic abuse they can't own a firearm," he said. "Unless you do these checks all the time, you wouldn't know."
Laws does wonder if the system actually works. He worries nothing happens if, for example, a felon is denied a gun after he runs background check.
"There are missing pieces here and they really aren't talking to each other. So it's very frustrating," he said.
Kentucky law does not require a permit for owning a gun, though gun dealers are required to perform background checks at the point of sale.
In 2014 NICS denied nearly 91,000 transactions, according to their website. The number one reason? The applicant had committed a prior crime. The second reason for a denial was that the applicant was a fugitive.
"If we get a deny, I don't see a cruiser out in the parking lot in 15 minutes arresting the person who is a felon trying to buy a gun," Laws said.
A representative with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, said they do have a system by which they investigate denied applications. He said it is up to the U.S. Attorney's Office to pursue any charges.
During the background check process form 4473 is filled out and run through the NICS check. Gun dealers are required to complete this process. The transaction can be approved, denied or delayed, according to the FBI.
If NICS delays the transaction, the applicant has to wait for an answer, but dealers are able to sell them a gun during the process. If the applicant is denied, it is up to the ATF to retrieve the gun from that person.
Kentucky State Police is responsible for maintaining the information of concealed carry permit holders and overseeing the testing process, a spokesperson explained.
According to the FBI, the things that can stop people from being able to purchase a gun include:
- A felony conviction
- An indictment of a crime punishable by more than one year
- A documented drug problem
- A mental illness
- An undocumented immigration status
- A dishonorable military discharge
- A renunciation of U.S. citizenship
- A restraining order
- A history of domestic violence
- If you're a fugitive