75% of Pennsylvania’s Failed Background Checks Were Likely False Positives, Denying Thousands Ability to Buy Guns

Harrisburg, PA — Pennsylvania state police released data for the first quarter on Tuesday morning.  Unsurprisingly, it showed that gun sales in the Keystone state were at record highs. In all, the state ran 304,876 background checks in the first three months of the year.

In fact, on March 20th, Pennsylvania’s Instant Check System (PICS) system ran over 8,300 applications through on that one day, alone.  That day, the PICS system was so overloaded with applications that it slowed to nearly a complete stop.  For all intents and purposes, gun owners crashed the PICS system!

Not All The Numbers Were Encouraging

But one number getting less attention from the state police is this one:  3,640.  That number represents the number of gun owners who wrongly ‘failed’ their PICS background check.

The State police reported that 4,866 applications were denied in total.  Of these, 1,226 applications were turned over to law enforcement.  Aka, these people were legally not allowed to purchase a gun and police needed to follow up on them. It’s a felony in Pennsylvania to try to buy a gun when you’re legally prohibited.

So what does that tell us?   Of 4,866 applications denied, only 1,226 were legitimate reasons to be denied and were handed over to police.  A further 59 people were arrested on outstanding warrants at the point of sale.

This means that 3,640 gun owners were kicked out by the inefficient and erroneous PICS background system in Pennsylvania.

Ironically, if a gun owner were to accidentally fill out their form dishonestly, that’s a felony….but when gun owners are denied their rights due to PICS’s dishonesty, that’s just government.  Deal with it.

Political Math Is Harder Than Regular Math

The total of 304,000 applications represents a 14% increase over last year.  Meanwhile, the number of rejected applications went from 3,260 to 4,866.

Ryan Tarkowski, communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police didn’t seem to think that number was a problem.  “When background checks are up, it makes sense that denials are also up,” he said.

Sure, except the number of gun sales went up 14% but the number of false positives by the PICS system went up 49% over last year in the same period.  Maybe Mr, Tarkowski isn’t that great at math, but those two percentages should both be about 14%, not this insanely high 49% increase over last year.

You Can’t Fix Stupid

It comforts us to know that almost 300,000 new firearms were added to the hands of Pennsylvania’s brave patriotic citizens in roughly 90 days.  But it still is enraging that when we’re forced to hop through outrageous bureaucratic hoops to exercise our rights, they can’t even do ‘tyranny’ properly.