FBI computer crash

privacy       2000-05-12 
The FBI's computer used for background checks of gun purchasers has crashed. "On May 11 we experienced a loss in service to the Interstate Identification Index due to a database problem," an FBI spokesman said. "The only thing affected is the National Instant Check System and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System." Under a federal law that took effect in November 1998, anyone buying a rifle, shotgun, or handgun from a dealer has to go through a background check. Some 100,000 Americans were prevented from purchasing firearms because of the glitch, which started Thursday and which the FBI hopes to have fixed by Sunday. About 9 million checks took place during the first year of NICS's operation. Investigators at the U.S. General Accounting Office report NICS was offline for 215 hours from November 1998 to November 1999.