Yesterday’s federal register contained an interesting NICS check item called the Voluntary Appeal File or VAF. At first, it seemed benign enough but then I realized that this thing is run and administered by the government…
Here’s a snippet:
Brief Abstract: Under 28 CFR,
§ 25.9(b)(1), (2), and (3), the NICS must destroy all identifying information on allowed transactions within 24 hours of the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) being notified of the transaction’s proceed status. If a potential purchaser is delayed or denied a firearm then successfully appeals the decision, the NICS Section cannot retain a record of the overturned appeal or the supporting documentation. If the record cannot be updated, the purchaser continues to be delayed or denied, and if that individual appeals the decision, the documentation must be resubmitted for every subsequent purchase. As such, the Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) was mandated to be created and maintained by the NICS Section for the purpose of preventing future lengthy delays or erroneous denials of a firearm transfer. An individual wishing to request entry into the VAF may obtain a VAF brochure from the NICS Section, an FFL, or the NICS Section Web site: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/ nics.
So it goes like this. The Government sets up NICS to make sure only certain people can have access to guns. In the process of weeding out the people the government doesn’t want to have guns they ensnare some innocent citizens; delaying and in some cases denying access to the right to keep and bear arms unconstitutionally. In this case they proclaim that they must destroy NICS records and subject the innocent citizens to this infringement repeatedly. BUT, like Sal Tessio be very wary of the one who “comes to you with the deal” is the one who sold you out & wants to take your lunch (among other things).
So aggrieved gun owners can opt in to this VAF to avoid delays and denials purchasing firearms.
This architecture is perfectly set up for abuse. All they need to do is to drive more and more people on to the VAF list – it’s voluntary, but only to the extent that people use it to not be needlessly delayed or denied a firearms purchase. If you think this is tin-foil hat territory, look at a very close analog
Here the government set up a manual ‘form’ system for transfers of NFA controlled firearms and assigned a few people in DC to process ALL NFA transfers. There were people waiting literally years for a transfer, non-responsive, and anti-gun form reviewers. It was comically bad. With some lobbying & work NFA transfers were moved to West Virginia for processing and form processing times dropped dramatically. However, transfers continued to increase, funding for NFA transfers wasn’t increased and the same thing happened all over again. Long wait times, little or no idea what is happening with the transfers, etc.
NICS delays, denials and the voluntary appeals file may or may not be a problem right now but at some point in the future it will be.