A bipartisan group of Senators are unveiling legislation that would improve background checks for gun sales. Led by Republican John Cornyn of Texas and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the bill would give states incentive to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure all background check information is uploaded and verified.
According to a description of the bill that’s been released the "Fix NICS Act" would ask federal agencies and states to produce plans to upload the criminal and mental health records necessary to prevent unfit purchasers from buying guns. Here’s a look at the provisions in the bill (as stated in the release):
- Requires federal agencies and states to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading all information to the background check system showing that a person is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under current law—including measures to verify the accuracy of records.
- Holds federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system through public reporting and prohibiting bonus pay for political appointees.
- Rewards states who comply with their NICS implementation plans through federal grant preferences and incentives, while increasing accountability through public reporting for those who do not comply with their plans.
- Reauthorizes and improves important law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS.
- Creates a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing firearms under current law.
- Provides important technical assistance to federal agencies and states who are working to comply with NICS record-sharing requirements.
The proposed bill comes more than a week after a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A domestic violence conviction should have prevented the shooter from purchasing the weapon used in the attack, but the charge was not submitted to the background check system by the military.
Source: CBS News