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While gun ownership can be controversial, the role of recordkeeping in gun control is not.

Below are examples of where flawed recordkeeping put institutions and individuals at risk.


Shoddy recordkeeping shoots holes in Florida’s mental health gun registry

One gun store had hundreds of firearms missing from its inventory. Another transferred a weapon to a convicted felon in a parking lot. Many more sold guns to prohibited buyers or without properly conducting background checks.

The sweeping analysis that uncovered these law-breaking gun dealers was possible only because the gun control organization Brady waged a years-long legal fight to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to produce records that by law should be public.

The nearly 2,000 gun dealer inspection reports analyzed by The Trace and USA TODAY provide an unprecedented look inside the ATF’s regulation of the firearms industry. They also represent less than 2% of the inspections conducted in the past decade. The full extent of gun dealers’ noncompliance, and of the ATF’s failure to regulate them, remains unknown.

Read more: USA Today, 25 June 2021


Shoddy recordkeeping shoots holes in Florida’s mental health gun registry

A recent state auditor general’s report found Florida’s MECOM system suffers from shoddy recording-keeping.

“Our audit tests disclosed that the data was often not timely recorded and, in some instances, may not have been accurately and completely recorded,” the report states.

Read more: Sunshine State News, 22 November 2013


Coroner calls for gun reform after Horden shootings… woeful recordkeeping

A coroner has called for “root and branch” gun licensing reform after ruling three women shot in a house in County Durham were unlawfully killed…

In his inquest judgement, the coroner described the deaths as “avoidable”. He said: “The systemic shortcomings highlighted by me  today lead me to conclude that, on a balance of probabilities, the four deceased would not have died when they did in the manner in which they did had there been robust, clear and accountable procedures in place.”

Nicholas Long from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: “Not only did the IPCC investigation uncover a wanton lack of intrusive inquiries by Durham Constabulary, it also identified poor practices which reflect woeful record keeping.

“While some of the failings were down to individuals, the underlying issue was Durham Constabulary’s lack of adequate systems and safeguards.”

Read more: BBC News, 8 March 2013


SAPS gun records in shambles

KwaZulu-Natal: Hundreds of guns from police station exhibit rooms across KwaZulu-Natal are missing or unaccounted for because of poor recordkeeping, an audit has found.

The preliminary findings of the check have prompted provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni to put a task team in place to monitor the 184 stations in KZN to ensure their gun files are in order.

Read more: Daily News, 8 August 2012

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