By the numbers

Remember the musical, 'Annie Get Your Gun'? Nowadays, Annie would have to pass a computerized criminal history background check to buy a firearm. The National Instant Criminal Background Check system last year rejected 136,000 applications from among more than 7.8 million applications, a 1.7 percent rejection rate, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Since last year, instant determinations of eligibility have been occurring in more than 90 percent of background inquiries. Since 1995, the number of applications rejected for a felony background has increased 192 percent, while the number rejected for other reasons increased 477 percent.

Justice operates the National Criminal History Improvement Program to improve state and federal databases. Justice reports that since NCHIP began in 1995, the number of criminal history records available for sharing increased 75 percent.

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