The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence applauds the introduction of the Fix NICS Act, led by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), a bipartisan, bicameral bill to fix the broken background check system. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have come together in a demonstration of good governance and solidarity. The gun violence prevention movement and the gun lobby agree on one thing: we need to improve the submission of records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the system the FBI uses to determine whether someone is prohibited from possessing a firearm when conducting a background check. Domestic violence misdemeanants and respondents to permanent domestic violence protective orders are among the people prohibited from possessing firearms. The Fix NICS Act is designed to ensure prohibiting records are submitted to NICS in a timely fashion and contain the information the FBI needs to make a determination on a potential purchaser’s eligibility.
As Executive Director Ruth Glenn says, “Most mass shootings are related to family violence, and, as we have seen in Sutherland Springs, and elsewhere, failure to submit domestic violence records to NICS has fatal consequences. We know that hundreds of thousands of protective order records that should be in the system have never been submitted. We also know a plurality of guns which are transferred to prohibited persons and must be retrieved by the ATF are ultimately transferred to abusers. Senators Cornyn and Murphy’s The Fix NICS bill takes an important step to address this issue by requiring all federal agencies and departments to submit prohibiting records and prioritizing the submission of domestic violence records.”
NCADV is heartened to see bipartisan movement to address the lethal intersection between domestic violence and firearms - this bill will save lives!