FOX13 Investigates: Background check glitch with mental health patients and gun sales, audit says

by: Jim Spiewak Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A gun background check database is being reviewed because the state is not sure if weaknesses in the system allowed people to illegally buy guns.

 

A new Comptroller’s audit specifically cites concern over people with mental health issues allowed to buy guns.

 

When buying a gun in Tennessee, you must get a background check. All that’s needed is a driver’s license.

 

Miranda Morgan has sold guns for 5 years at the Mid-South America Pawn Shop. She said she wasn’t shocked when we told her a new state audit found 59 times the Tennessee Court System was not compliant when handling gun background checks.  

 

“A lot of people don't always do their job like they're supposed to” says Morgan.

 

The audit found errors when names were misspelled and birth dates were transposed.  

 

The audit says that misinformation can lead to the wrong people getting an approval for a background check, specifically citing people with a mental health disorder.  

 

To test it out, Morgan used FOX13's Jim Spiewak's personal information purposely changing the date of birth and state he was born it.  

 

20 seconds later, his background check was approved.  

 

The audit looked at 200 cases across the state. 13 counties had errors, but they were not specified. A fix is in the works.

 

The state is launching a pilot program for better automated monitoring with more checks and balances.  

 

It’s scheduled to be set up by the end of 2017.  Here’s a copy of the full audit.

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