- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 12, 2015

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Sunday said the botched FBI background check that allowed the man accused of the massacre at a historic black church in Charleston to buy the handgun used in the attack is tragic but does not justify expanding such checks.

“We expect when the feds say they’re going to do something. We take them at their word that it is going to get done. The fact that it didn’t get done is terrible,” Mrs. Haley, a Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“When we got the call from the FBI telling us what had happened, I was literally sick to my stomach,” she said, adding that she was told the problem was with the FBI and not state or local authorities.

FBI Director James Comey announced Friday that Dylann Roof, 21, who has been charged with murdering nine people at the church, should have been barred from purchasing a firearm, but a felony drug arrest on his record didn’t show up on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

The FBI performs the NICS database search on gun buyers in 30 states, including South Carolina. If the FBI does not respond within a three-day waiting period, federal law allow the gun shop to proceed with the sale.

Mrs. Haley said the failure of the system did not indicate a need for longer waiting period or more expansive background checks.

“We need to look at the fact that it’s not about time — it’s about technology. This is something — when someone has a charge filed against them, it should go into a database and it should be shown immediately to anyone that’s looking at it,” she said.

The FBI should be looking at what went wrong with the current system, she said.

“Why are they dealing with paperwork and not dealing with technology,” she said.


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