Criminal-Background Checks Delayed In Texas Due To Census

As if that damn census wasn't so bad already, what with their nonsensical questions and such, now comes word that the Texas Department of Public Safety is going to have to put on hold criminal-background checks because of it.

The FBI is going to be so busy doing fingerprint checks on 484,000 prospective census workers that the checks DPS runs through them will have to be delayed, DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange says.

On the one hand, checks involving criminal-justice matters will still go through as normal, she says. On the other hand, checks for handgun licenses won't. So if you want to protect your home and castle against the murdering hordes, or just walk into a Starbucks packing heat, you're going to have to wait even longer to do so.

"We will do everything that we can to process the background checks here in Texas in a timely manner as soon as the FBI begins accepting fingerprinting requests again," said Steven C. McCraw, director of the DPS. "We are working with the FBI to ensure that the process works as smoothly as possible."

Also affected will be people applying for some state jobs or other employment that requires such checks.

DPS normally processes 35,000 federal background checks a week, Mange says.

And Texas is not alone, so the backlog that grows will be 50-states' worth large:

Any background check that also requires a national criminal history status will be processed in the state system and then will be queued for submission to the FBI. Once the FBI returns to service, DPS will submit these records to the FBI to complete the national check.

Because DPS is following this FBI requested queuing procedure, the Texas checks will be among the first that will be processed by the FBI. However, processing delays should be expected in the days following the shut-down, as the FBI will be processing the backlog of submissions from all 50 states and other federal agencies that accumulated during the period of non-service.

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