Bipartisan bill would strengthen background checks for gun purchasers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation to improve background checks for gun sales was unveiled by a bipartisan group of senators Thursday.

A description of the bill offers solutions to “fix” the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS.)

The “Fix NICS Act” is a narrow measure crafted to better enforce current law and strengthen the NICS system to ensure all necessary information is uploaded to the national database.

Individual states cannot be forced to comply with uploading requirements. Therefore, the legislation offers grants and incentives to do so. In addition, it adds accountability measures for political appointees and their agencies. Funds would be made available to ensure domestic violence crimes are added to NICS.

Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) crafted the bill. Cornyn said in a statement, “For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence. Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy, as the country saw last week in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This bill aims to help fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms.”

NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker said the National Rifle Association won’t oppose the measure.

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