Right to bear arms, but when? Texas man's name stalls background check

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by MAYRA MORENO / KENS 5

KENS 5 San Antonio

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 7:11 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- It may seem easy for some people to buy a gun, especially if you have a clean record.

But one man said it's not. His transaction has been delayed because his name is so common that it has been flagged in a background check.

According to the FBI, Texas led the nation last year for the most firearm background checks, with more than 1.6 million recorded, followed by Kentucky, California, and Illinois.

After filling out a six-page application to buy a gun, Roy Mendoza walked into a gun store thinking he would get one soon with no problem.

That was in February. To this day, his gun is still "on hold."

"The salesperson at Academy said usually it takes a day or two days, especially if someone shares your same name," Mendoza told WFAA sister station KENS 5.

He wanted to buy a gun, which he eventually wants to hand down to his only son, when he gets older.

Mendoza said his right to bear arms has turned into a fight to prove who he is and that his record is clean.

"I proactively gave them [my] passport, Social Security card, driver's license, [and] voter registration," a frustrated Mendoza said.

He said he provided that information to the FBI after his application to purchase a .22-caliber rifle was placed on hold. Mendoza said the FBI told him his application was not denied, but delayed because his name seemed to match someone else with a criminal record. He would have to be fingerprinted, which he has yet to do.

"I will subject myself to toeprints, footprints... whatever they want to take, ‘cause I know I’m clean," Mendoza said.

KENS 5 called the FBI about this situation. A spokesperson said weapon transactions can take up to 88 days to approve, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, won't accept forms of ID as part of its background check. It needs fingerprints as proof of identity to ensure there is no criminal history.

"Why are valuable FBI resources being taken away from what they should be doing and being involved in this nonsense?" Mendoza asked.

Mendoza said he knows the FBI has a job to do, but said there should be a better system for citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right if they have nothing to hide.

Meanwhile, an FBI spokesperson said it intends to try and work with Mendoza to expedite his application.
 

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