NICS Improvement Act Passes Senate

In a move that’s sure to enrage a lot of other pro-gun groups, The NICS Improvement Act has passed the senate with some good policy improvements over the House version of the bill, HR2640:

  • Requires incorrect or outdated records to be purged from the system within 30 days after the Attorney General learns of the need for correction.
  • Requires agencies to create “relief from disabilities” programs within 120 days, to prevent bureaucratic foot-dragging.
  • Provides that if a person applies for relief from disabilities and the agency fails to act on the application within a year—for any reason, including lack of funds—the applicant can seek immediate review of his application in federal court.
  • Allows awards of attorney’s fees to applicants who successfully challenge a federal agency’s denial of relief in court.
  • Requires that federal agencies notify all people being subjected to a mental health “adjudication” or commitment process about the consequences to their firearm ownership rights, and the availability of future relief.
  • Earmarks 3-10% of federal implementation grants for use in operating state “relief from disabilities” programs.
  • Elimination of all references to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations defining adjudications, commitments, or determinations related to Americans’ mental health. Instead, the bill uses terms previously adopted by the Congress.

As I said before in numerous other posts, I think on balance this is a good deal for gun owners. This makes it a better deal. Good.

UPDATE: Had to modify the bullet items. Looks like the link changed on me.

UPDATE: It’s passed the house with the senate amendments. HR2640 is now on Bush’s desk. I would expect a signature.

UPDATE: Carolyn McCarthy says, “Together, we have crafted a bill that will prevent gun violence, but maintain the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” To which Dave Hardy remarks: “Uh … Second Amendment rights of individuals? Law abiding citizens? I didn’t antigunners were allowed to use terms like that.” They are when they are trying to spin what is actually a defeat as a victory. The VPC isn’t afraid to take a look in this horse’s mouth:

Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, states, “This bill was intended to be Congress’ response to the mass shooting at Virginia Tech that left 32 people murdered. But rather than focusing on improving the current laws prohibiting people with certain mental health disabilities from buying guns, the bill is now nothing more than a gun lobby wish list. It will waste millions of taxpayer dollars restoring the gun privileges of persons previously determined to present a danger to themselves or others. Once a solution, the bill is now part of the problem.”

Well, I guess VPC could always convince Bush not to sign it. Good luck with that.

2 Responses to “NICS Improvement Act Passes Senate”

  1. Wow–the House has already approved the Senate’s changes. That was fast.

    I’m not a fan of this legislation, but it could have been a lot worse.

  2. Sebastian says:

    They originally approved it on a voice vote. One good thing about the speed is there’s little chance for someone to amend something bad to it at the last minute.


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