HARRISBURG (KDKA) — The state auditor general is examining Pennsylvania’s gun background check system to determine whether it is operating as intended.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced Wednesday that he will be auditing the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS).
The program, implemented in 1998, is a call center operated by State Police that provides access to background records that are used to establish whether an individual can legally purchase a firearm or obtain a license to carry.
Licensed firearms dealers and county sheriffs request a background check from PICs when an individual wants to purchase a gun. The program issues either an approval or denial of the sale.
Around 60 percent of those who try to buy a gun today are approved within minutes, State Police say.
“The purpose of my audit is to make sure the PICS system is working as intended and has kept up with changing technology,” DePasquale explained in a statement.
“I want to ensure there are no gaps in the system that could result in a tragic loss of life.”
A bipartisan group of state legislators requested that the audit be done, according to DePasquale.
The auditor general will examine whether all necessary records, such as mental health, criminal and civil — both in and out-of-state — are included in the Pennsylvania Instant Check System and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
DePasquale will also explore whether State Police are properly issuing decisions and processing challenges to the denials they’ve provided, as per state and federal laws.
In addition, DePasquale says he will evaluate the process used to identify gun owners who have lost their right to own a firearm and State Police’s role in that process.