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TBI addresses coronavirus related firearm and background check delays across state


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is addressing concerns residents may have due to delays this week while securing a firearms background check or appeal in the state, and the steps being taken to alleviate the situation.


According to TBI officials, Thursday, The Instant Check System experienced an unusual delay in processing transactions as a result of three things, a sharp increase in background check requests in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, limited staff access to TBI facilities as a result of an employee’s positive diagnosis, and an approximately one-hour, unplanned outage in the technical connection needed to process the background checks.


Reports show the increase in background check requests in Tennessee aligns with national trends during the pandemic. TBI processed 14,657 transactions between Thursday, March 12th and Monday, March 16th. During the comparable five-day period, February 13th through February 17th, TBI processed 7,901 transactions.


TBI reported on Wednesday evening, an employee assigned to Headquarters in Nashville tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is recovering at home. The Bureau’s senior management team took safe precautions to avoid the spread in the workplace, which included additional cleaning measures and notifying employees who had contact with the affected employee.

TBI continues to work to adjust employee work schedules in hopes of improving wait times in the days to come amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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