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Thread: Virginia firearm instant background check delays

  1. #1
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    I was just reading a thread on another forum (thehighroad) and there is some discussion over if in Virginia having a security clearance, being a LEO, or another job that has extensive background checks will always cause a delay.

    Now...I know from my purchasing history that just having a DOD clearance does not cause me to get delays. I have had one delay in several years of buying firearms. However, that one delay was the first check after my security clearance level changed. At the time the gun store clerk said that he seemed to think that security clearances caused delays. I have never had a delay since, so obviously security clearance does not equal a delay 100% of the time, or even most of the time for me. So am I just lucky?
    Is the "security clearance" causes delays just a rumor or is there anything to it? Anyone have a place with detailed information about what databases get checked or what the procedure is that could shed some light on this?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    mkl wrote:
    I was just reading a thread on another forum (thehighroad) and there is some discussion over if in Virginia having a security clearance, being a LEO, or another job that has extensive background checks will always cause a delay.

    Now...I know from my purchasing history that just having a DOD clearance does not cause me to get delays. I have had one delay in several years of buying firearms. However, that one delay was the first check after my security clearance level changed. At the time the gun store clerk said that he seemed to think that security clearances caused delays. I have never had a delay since, so obviously security clearance does not equal a delay 100% of the time, or even most of the time for me. So am I just lucky?
    Is the "security clearance" causes delays just a rumor or is there anything to it? Anyone have a place with detailed information about what databases get checked or what the procedure is that could shed some light on this?
    I can't tell you exactly what the procedure is and I think it depends on who you work for, what your level is, etc.

    In my case, I would get not get an OK until the next day and the problem was the FBI check. (I suppose because I worked for them) anyway, my file was flagged and they would only release information after a supervisor signed off on it.

    Until that happened my background check would just go in the Q and wait.

    Really PO'ed me too! It was embarrassing to be told to comeback tomorrow.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    According to a post on this thread (the link should jump right to the post), it's the existence of a fingerprint record that causes the delay. Security clearances used to always require finger printing, but I believe that is no longer the case for lower clearance levels.

    I think the theory is that the automated check just pops up that there are finger prints on file, and then a human must look to see what they are from. Operative word here: theory.

    TFred


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    From what I have heard, yes. But, I never have had an issue and had to wait.



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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Been there, done that, security clearances, finger prints et al. Now without any changes to my history what used to take 30 minutes takes hours or we'll call you - probably tomarrow.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Finger prints & clearances...

    that would explain a lot.



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    Took about 15-20 min total here and am not LEO(not saying that being LE makes a difference). Confidential may not require fingerprints but anything higher does :P not to mention even more criteria and paper work.

    I wonder if it matters whether your clearance in DOE, DOD, or heck nato(had to throw it in the mix).







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    .

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    Interesting. So far it seems like most people here are saying they definitely get delays...
    I have been present personally for purchases when people have had DOD secret, DOD TS, and DOD TS/SCI and not gotten delays....and all of those require fingerprints. But the fingerprints thing does make sense.

    So it seems like there is something to the "security clearances give delays" for at least some people, but it doesn't for everyone (at least not every time).

    This just intrigues me more. If clearances are given more scrutiny it seems backwards, if you have already had a far more reaching background check than most people for your clearance, you'd think you would be able to be processed faster

    Factors I can think about that potentially could influence would be:
    - what agency(ies) the clearances are with
    - wether you are gov or civilian
    - Level of clearance
    - Fingerprints taken or not
    - Recent changes in your clearance status

  10. #10
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Bill in VA wrote:
    I'm not sure what causes a delay. The best explantion I've heard (several times)is that someone with your name/similar name and basic description is flagged and until they clear up that you and the other person are not one and the same they delay the transfer.
    Not to contradict, but to add a data point, I am 99.9% certain that my name is absolutely unique in the state of Virginia, and I've been delayed a couple hours each time... so while this may be a factor, I'm pretty sure it's not the only factor.

    I do however, have work-related prints on file.

    I would suppose there are several possible reasons for delay, I doubt we can speculate on all of them.

    TFred

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    Regular Member doug23838's Avatar
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    I used to go through quickly. Not so any more. I get delayed every time. I held a security clearance years ago, but it has expired and I no longer work in a defence related industry.

    A Va. State Trooper once told me "Once you get delayed, you'll get delayed from then on." Seems to be true for me.



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    Some delays come from having to check with entities in other states for things such as out of state charges, etc. Many times the other states (court clerks and office workers) get lazy about looking up such information for VA inquiries. In some cases they refuse to cooperate, after all they are under no obligation to do so. The system is definitely not without it's limitations. A national system would make more sense and would probably me a lot more efficient and accurate.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    HardChrome wrote:
    snip....... A national system would make more sense and would probably me a lot more efficient and accurate.
    Do you really want to go there?

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I work for DoD (Navy) and have a fairly high clearance. (Finger prints, polygraph, pee in a bottle from time to time).

    I have never had a problem with my purchases being cleared. Usually only takes a minute or two.





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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Its not the clearances or working in LE that is the issue that slows these up. There are a lot of factors. The most common problem is just as Bill said, two people with similar names. But a lot of things can come into play. Heck your credit history can slow up the check, especially if someone with a name similar to yours has ever defaulted on a loan and been subjected to legal action.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    I don't have a TS clearance but I do contract to the federal gov't and have had to submit to a FBI fingerprint before. Also about a year ago I had to get fingerprinted by the Capitol Police to start my current job. My NCIC checks take no time at all, usually less than 15 minutes. I do have a unique name, but I was also foreign born and then naturalized so who knows. I'm sure having a CHP helps process along.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    If you want to know why you are being delayed, don't speculate, call the firearms transaction center and they will probably give you an answer. In my experience running the checks about 3 out of 4 people are instantly approved. Most of the delays are usually common names. In my opinion it doesn't matter if you have a CHP, clearances, LEO creds, I have seen all instantly approved or delayed. If you are born overseas, citizen or not you are most likely going to be delayed. If you have an arrest record, you may be delayed. With the surge in sales recently delays that used to be resolved in 20-30 minutes take about 1-2 hours and up 6-8 hours on a gun show weekend.

    For more information go to:
    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_VFTP.shtm

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    longwatch wrote:
    If you want to know why you are being delayed, don't speculate, call the firearms transaction center and they will probably give you an answer. In my experience running the checks about 3 out of 4 people are instantly approved. Most of the delays are usually common names. In my opinion it doesn't matter if you have a CHP, clearances, LEO creds, I have seen all instantly approved or delayed. If you are born overseas, citizen or not you are most likely going to be delayed. If you have an arrest record, you may be delayed. With the surge in sales recently delays that used to be resolved in 20-30 minutes take about 1-2 hours and up 6-8 hours on a gun show weekend.

    For more information go to:
    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_VFTP.shtm
    +1, Excellent post
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    doug23838 wrote:
    I used to go through quickly. Not so any more. I get delayed every time. I held a security clearance years ago, but it has expired and I no longer work in a defence related industry.
    defence industry? Picture provided of de fence.

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I've got one and I've never had a delay.

  21. #21
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    Same here. In fact, I just purchased a gun last month and it took about 5 minutes. A few years ago it was under that.

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    C'mon Grapeshot - Jane's Defence Weekly... Doug's from Great Britain!!!

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    DoubleR wrote:
    C'mon Grapeshot - Jane's Defence Weekly... Doug's from Great Britain!!!
    Couldn't tell from the accent - he sounds just like a native Virginian - my bad.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  24. #24
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    I've had it take more time to enter the data for start the check ( < 2 minutes ) and also take 3-4 hours.

    I've been told that it can be delayed if I have a security clearance, have any arrests for misdemeanor stuff, first time purchase, just got a CC permit, or even a simple backlog on processing checks.

    Honestly, it's a government system. I wouldn't be surprised to find out solar andplanetary movements and positions cause delays.

    But backlog and odd/duplicative/flag raising data are the most likely cuplrits based on my experience with similar systems.

  25. #25
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    I've purchased two firearms here in VA and both times I experienced a delay. The first was actually several days, the second, about an hour.

    I've heard it's because I've got a clearance, I've heard it's because of the fingerprints, and I've also heard it's because I've got a PDRM SSN.

    Bottom line, who knows, and either way, you eventually end up (like I did) with the firearm you want.



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