There’s been a fair amount of talk about new NICS regulations from the right, but I don’t see anything that really causes me great concern. The provisions are:
- Grant access to NICS for tribal police.
- Allow police to use NICS when returning seized firearms.
- Store records for people who have been denied.
I’m not sure that, under the Brady Act, that the President has the authority for provisions one or two, as the Act makes it pretty clear that the NICS system is for the use of Federal Firearms Licensees. State or tribal law enforcement access is simply not mentioned.
This is another case where the Obama Administration is acting unilaterally, beyond its power, but where it’s unclear who would have standing to sue. Federal Firearms Licensees are still permitted to access the system, and therefore aren’t harmed, necessarily, by tribal or or state and local police having access to the system.
The third provision would be allowed under the Brady Act. Perhaps it could be argued that provision one and two are reasonable, but they should require Congress to act rather than the President acting unilaterally.