The FBI issued 4,170 orders past year to seize guns from buyers who should have been blocked by the federal background check system, according to a new report from USA Today.
The FBI sent out 4170 requests in 2016 to retrieve guns from people who never should have been able to purchase them, an increase of more than 1000 over the year before.
The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year - and must complete the check within 72 hours of a gun purchase or else the sale goes forward, USA Today noted.
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It's easy to see how unsafe it could be for a federal agent to attempt to seize a weapon from someone who should never have been allowed to own it.
While the number of successful gun seizures is unclear, similar operations in years past have resulted in a fairly high recovery rate.
The FBI requested almost 4,200 gun purchases to the ATF last year for seizure - compared to almost 2,900 the year before.
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Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the federal background check system after it came to light that the Air Force failed to report the criminal history of the gunman who later purchased a rifle and killed more than two dozen worshippers inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
The agency admitted it failed to review Kelley's record which included domestic assault.
But former ATF official David Chipman believes the time limit is only as short as it is as a concession to the gun industry.
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The ATF isn't required to provide details regarding weapon recovery endeavors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.