House Passes Bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

By:  Bob Adelmann
06/02/2014
       
House Passes Bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

Late last Thursday the House voted 260-145 to increase federal grant money to states to improve their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

It was a textbook case of revolutionary parliamentarianism at work.

Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to assist the states in their data collection and entry into the federal gun registry system. It was all for good reasons, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment:

Our national criminal background check system is only as good as the data you put in it, and right now all the information isn’t getting into the system.

When this happens, we can’t enforce the law, and criminals, domestic abusers, or dangerously mentally ill individuals who otherwise wouldn't pass a background check can slip through the cracks and buy guns.

Our bipartisan amendment addresses this dangerous shortfall of information by providing states with the resources they need to get their records into the criminal background checks system.

On May 28, when Thompson proposed his amendment to a massive funding bill being considered by the House, he explained the big problem his funding measure was designed to solve:

Every day, the background checks system stops more than 170 felons, some 50 domestic abusers, and nearly 20 fugitives from buying a gun.

However, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the database used to determine whether or not a prospective buyer is eligible to buy a firearm, is missing valuable information.

Because of this, dangerous people who otherwise wouldn't pass a background check can slip through the cracks and buy guns.

That was the first step. Following a national tragedy, covered extensively by nearly every member of the national media, legislation was proposed to solve the alleged problem of mental cases obtaining guns.

Thompson’s amendment was supported by a number of anti-gun proponents, including Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.), and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Behind that group stood a vast array of left-wing groups, including:

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