BELLEVUE, WA – When Congress considers legislation, possibly this week, to “fix” the National Instant Check System (NICS), it should also adopt amendments that will cut down on false positives and make other changes to prevent unwarranted denials, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
“We’re calling it the ‘Fix the Fix NICS’ bill,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “because these amendments will make this legislation better.”
There are four suggested amendments that Gottlieb favors. One would require that NICS use all descriptors provided in conducting background checks because “too many people get denied who shouldn’t,” he said. Another amendment would add language requiring the Attorney General to take such actions as may be necessary, including withholding funds, to prevent a State imposing regulations that result in a Federal Firearms Licensee charging for a background check pursuant to section 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, and to penalize a State that does so.’’
An important third tenet would require the Attorney General to annually submit a written report to Congress that contains a detailed review of all background checks conducted by the NICS system “where people were initially denied from acquiring a firearm and then also those whose cases were deemed not eligible for prosecution, including a review of the process for making the determinations, each step included in that process, and a statistical analysis of the age, race, gender, and national origin of, or any other identifying information provided on a Firearm Transfer Record form (ATF Form 4473) about, the persons about whom the erroneous determinations were made.
A fourth amendment requires that all the numbers be disaggregated by age, race and gender. Gottlieb believes people are presently more likely to be denied if they are a minority.
“As it is now,” Gottlieb explained, “this ‘Fix the Fix NICS’ language will cut down on false positives. It also reduces the likelihood of imbalance.”
“It’s important for gun owners to contact their congressional representatives and encourage them to consider the ‘Fix the Fix NICS’ bill when it comes up for consideration,” he concluded.