Under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System there are three responses when one tries to purchase a firearm.
1)Proceed. This means you are on the side of angels, and may leave with your newly-purchased firearm. This is the "10-minute wait" many of my readers were referring to in the 'Comments' section of my last inarticulate scream of rage.
2)Deny. You have been a Very Bad Boy, and are forbidden from owing or purchasing a firearm due any one of a possible multitude of sins.
3)Delay. Welcome to my world. When a Delay flag pops up on a NICS check, this means that (theoretically) a NICS Examiner begins a hand search of records to ensure the potential purchaser (me) isn't a Bad Dog. To quote from the NICS website:
"When a transaction is DELAYED, the FBI NICS Examiner begins extensive research on the potential prohibitor. When the research is complete, the FBI NICS Examiner calls the FFL and gives a PROCEED or DENY decision on the firearm transaction."
The FBI kindly posted a website explaining exactly how long someone (me) has to wait if a Delay flag pops up. Notice the 'Sell' date if someone (me) gets his rights infringed on a Monday: It's bloody well Friday.
The theory used to be that I kept getting the Delay response because someone might have used my name as an alias on a criminal history, or there's a felon wandering about with my name.
That one doesn't fly, because the combination of my first and last names is about as Gaelic as you can get. You might find someone with my first AND last names in Scotland or Ireland, but you're not going to find them in the Good Old U.S. of A. Besides, I work in Law Enforcement. I've run my name and every possible combination of my name through TCIC and NCIC and it always comes back clear.
Then it was decided that I was getting delayed because I refused to put my Social Security Number on the 4473. That theory got blown out of the water when I finally knuckled under and started putting my SSN on the 4473's. Still kept getting delayed.
The current theory involves my Place of Birth. I think that every time I write 'MALTA' in the box for Place of Birth, I might as well break out the sack lunch.
Back to private transactions. No muss, no fuss, and I can go shooting that same damned day.