NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association of the firearms industry, welcomes the passage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act of 2007 in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives yesterday.
The legislation requires federal agencies to provide relevant data for use in the NICS system, a database that stores the names of individuals prohibited by federal law from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Under the legislation states would either be rewarded for providing appropriate mental health records to NICS or penalized for refusing to turn over such data. The NICS Improvement Act does not expand the definition of who is a prohibited person. Anyone who can legally purchase a firearm today can still do so under this legislation.
The legislation is supported by the firearms industry for several reasons, including that it will help to ensure that those individuals whom are deemed untrustworthy of possessing a firearm are unable to purchase firearms.
The bill also will allow for individuals who are now unfairly prohibited from owning guns to appeal their prohibition and have their Second Amendment rights restored. This is currently not possible, and tens of thousands of Americans of sound mind, including many veterans, are permanently barred without due process from possessing firearms.
NSSF has long supported an instant background check on firearms purchases–support which predates that of any other group, including the nation’s most radical gun ban organizations. NSSF has called upon Congress to continue to improve NICS so that checks are truly both instant and accurate.