Ammo For Sale

« « Cool | Home | NRA Board Member & Mitt » »

NICS Bill to the president

I was out of pocket when the news broke. So, I’ll round up what everyone else said.

The NRA:

After months of careful negotiation, pro-gun legislation was passed through Congress today. The National Rifle Association (NRA) worked closely with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to address his concerns regarding H.R. 2640, the National Instant Check System (NICS) Improvement Act. These changes make a good bill even better. The end product is a win for American gun owners.

Late yesterday, anti-gun Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), failed to delay progress of this pro-gun measure. The Violence Policy Center, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and other gun control and gun ban groups are opposed to the passage of this legislation because of the many pro-gun improvements contained within.

Some highlights from the bill:

* Permanently prohibits the FBI from charging a “user fee” for NICS checks.

* Requires all federal agencies that impose mental health adjudications or commitments to provide a process for “relief from disabilities.” Extreme anti-gun groups like the Violence Policy Center and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence have expressed “strong concerns” over this aspect of the bill—surely a sign that it represents progress for gun ownership rights.

* Prevents reporting of mental adjudications or commitments by federal agencies when those adjudications or commitments have been removed.

* Requires removal of expired, incorrect or otherwise irrelevant records. Today, totally innocent people (e.g., individuals with arrest records, who were never convicted of the crime charged) are sometimes subject to delayed or denied firearm purchases because of incomplete records in the system.

* Provides a process of error correction if a person is inappropriately committed or declared incompetent by a federal agency. The individual would have an opportunity to correct the error-either through the agency or in court.

* Prevents use of federal “adjudications” that consist only of medical diagnoses without findings that the people involved are dangerous or mentally incompetent. This would ensure that purely medical records are never used in NICS. Gun ownership rights would only be lost as a result of a finding that the person is a danger to themselves or others, or lacks the capacity to manage his own affairs.

* Improves the accuracy and completeness of NICS by requiring federal agencies and participating states to provide relevant records to the FBI. For instance, it would give states an incentive to report those who were adjudicated by a court to be “mentally defective,” a danger to themselves, a danger to others or suicidal.

* Requires a Government Accountability Office audit of past NICS improvement spending.

Nothing in there about disarming veterans, which is what GOA will tell us if they haven’t already.

Sebastian noted that the ATF reform bill may be combined with the NICS improvement. Not sure that happened but I hope it did.

He notes that the NICS bill passed in the senate and discusses details of the bill. Quite a few provisions addressing restoration of rights, such as funding programs.

As the GOA is to the NRA, the VPC is to the Brady Bunch. Seems they think the Brady Bunch is now the gun lobby. They take issue with the bill because of quite a few issues:

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.”

But no one noticed except us pro-gunnies who kinda like the though of Kristen Rand crapping herself.

Ahab has more and notes:

Here’s what Carolyn McCarthy said: “Together, we have crafted a bill that will prevent gun violence, but maintain the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens” to bear arms.”

I’m not opposed to the bill. It is a giant band aid with quite a few pro-gun improvements. I concur with John Lott who says:

The irony is if this legislation had been in effect it would have had absolutely no impact on the Virginia Tech shooting.

Update: BTW, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership supported the bill too. Seems rather odd that the best Brady can accomplish these days at the federal level is a bill supported by the NRA.

Update 2: Being spun as a gun control bill, which it is not.

And the National Shooting Sports Foundation likes the bill too.

6 Responses to “NICS Bill to the president”

  1. Jacob Says:

    I was given a piece of advice by a legislator once. He said, take whatever you can when a bill passes and declare victory no matter what it does. That’s what the Brady’s are doing.

  2. Brian Says:

    “Provides a process of error correction if a person is inappropriately committed or declared incompetent by a federal agency. The individual would have an opportunity to correct the error-either through the agency or in court.”

    My biggest worry is that this part will die the same death as the part in the 1986 FOPA that allowed people to appeal being a prohibited person. “We don’t like that part, so we just won’t fund it.”

  3. gattsuru Says:

    Extreme anti-gun groups like the Violence Policy Center and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence have expressed “strong concerns” over this aspect of the bill—surely a sign that it represents progress for gun ownership rights.

    After all, it’s not like these people have expressed strong concerns over antigun laws simply because they weren’t antigun enough.

    And, hey, what possible problem could there be with having agencies with known antigun policies have entire facilities and groups determining who can and can’t be trusted with a weapon? It’s not like the APA has shown itself to have the level of bias typically found in small town newspapers on the subject, or that the modern DSM-IV-TR’s diagnosis policies could be interpreted as only including situations where the individual is harmful to himself/herself or others.

    But that’s worth giving a complete and total pass on our HIPAA mental health document privacy on this subject. I mean, it’s not like you can already contest improper inclusion in the NICS through the FBI and federal courts. Requiring those improperly included to wait for the Veteran’s Association to prove two negatives sounds like a great idea.

    :shrug:

    The GOA made assholes of themselves claiming it’d do new bad things rather than simply add onto the existing problems, but you all trying to pull a gold star out of this turd pile shows either a vastly higher opinion of the very folks messing up the current system or a remarkably low definition of success.

  4. gattsuru Says:

    My biggest worry is that this part will die the same death as the part in the 1986 FOPA that allowed people to appeal being a prohibited person. “We don’t like that part, so we just won’t fund it.”

    I’m not sure there is direct funding of that sort.

    Of course, given that the standards used to determine if an individual may get their permission to execute a right back is

    “[the agency] may grant such relief if it is established to his satisfaction that the circumstances regarding the disability, and the applicant’s record and reputation, are such that the applicant will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.

    I can see easier and quieter ways to defang the useful stuff.

  5. Sebastian Says:

    My biggest worry is that this part will die the same death as the part in the 1986 FOPA that allowed people to appeal being a prohibited person. “We don’t like that part, so we just won’t fund it.”

    There’s always a danger that Congress can pass another law that would screw us, but does that mean FOPA wasn’t worth passing?

  6. Kirk Parker Says:

    Regarding Lott’s statement (“The irony is if this legislation had been in effect it would have had absolutely no impact on the Virginia Tech shooting”): that’s not irony, that’s business-as-usual. Brady itself wouldn’t have prevented Hinckley from buying the firearms he did.

    Brian, regarding your worry, didn’t you read the part that says “or in court”? I’m not aware that any federal agency can simply decline to show up when presented with a legitimate lawsuit, and the bill sounds like it’s legitimizing exactly that kind of suit.