JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An eight-page report from the state's auditor general details how poor record keeping may be putting guns in the hands of mentally-ill buyers.
The report focuses on the Mentally Defective Database known as MECOM.
Legally, anyone who shows up on the database as having a mental illness or as having a court-ordered mental institution commitment cannot purchase a gun.
According to the auditor general, the information was not always timely, accurately and completely recorded into the MECOM database by the clerks of courts.
For gun collector Bill Craig, it's a scary realization.
"There should be more. What? I don't know but it should be more than what we got now," said Craig.
According to the report, of the 26,455 records since 2007, more than 11,000 were entered late and almost 4,000 were behind three years or more.
The report goes on to say that for a period of almost two years from 2011 to 2013, no records had been created for 10 counties.
That means guns may have ended up in the hands of those who are mentally ill without dealers being able to properly identify them.
Action News reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the agency in charge of maintaining the database. It sent this statement:
"As the repository of the information, FDLE has assisted the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers by making changes and enhancements to processes and systems and will continue to work with them to ensure records entered into the MECOM database are timely, accurate and complete."
Craig said his message to sellers is to use your common sense.
"There have been several occasions that someone tried to buy a firearm from me that just didn't seem quite right. I simply find a reason of why I couldn't sell it to him," said Craig.
In its final recommendation, the auditor general said the FDLE needs to continue its efforts to work with the clerks to improve record keeping and ensure accurate information in the MECOM database.