The mass shooting in Sutherland Springs was a preventable tragedy. The shooter was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, but he still passed a background check due to poor record keeping!
After years of inaction, it’s time for Congress to pass meaningful legislation to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. The gun rights activists have said time and time again that we need to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used for firearm background checks - and we agree! S.2135, the Fix NICS Act, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and a number of other Senators on both sides of the aisle, takes an important step in this direction by:
Requiring all federal agencies and departments (including the Department of Defense) to submit records to NICS;
Requiring states and federal agencies to create plans to improve record submission;
Creating a new Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to incentivize states to submit domestic violence records; and
Providing vital technical assistance and training.
This simple, commonsense bill will save lives!
Contact your Senators NOW and tell them to SUPPORT S.2135, the Fix NICS Act. You can find your Senators, their phone numbers and their contact information by using the dropdown menu at the upper left bar at www.senate.gov. You can find their Twitter handles here.
4.5 million American women have been threatened by abusers with guns in their lives;
1 million American women have been shot or shot at by abusers;
3-4 American women are killed daily by intimate partners;
55% of all homicides of women are committed by intimate partners; most are committed with firearms;
A male abuser’s access to a firearm increases the risk of homicide against a female victim five times;
A plurality of prohibited people who are erroneously able to purchase firearms because they weren’t flagged by the background check system within three days are domestic abusers.
Sample Telephone Script:
Hi, my name is [your name], and I am a constituent calling from [city]. I urge Senator [Senator’s name] to support S.2135, the Fix NICS Act, which is designed to make the firearms background check better by ensuring more records, particularly domestic violence records, are submitted to the federal databases. This commonsense, bipartisan bill is supported by organizations across the political and ideological spectrum and will save lives. Victims, survivors, and communities are safer when abusers who are already legally prohibited from possessing firearms don’t get their hands on firearms due to poor record keeping!
Sample Facebook Post:
As a constituent, I urge Senator [Senator’s name] to support S.2135, the Fix NICS Act. This bill has support from across the ideological and political spectrum and will keep guns out of the hands of prohibited abusers by ensuring the records used by background checks are properly submitted.
Sample Tweet (280 characters):
Senator [@SenatorsTwitterHandle], SUPPORT the #FixNICSAct. It will improve record keeping so prohibited abusers don't erroneously pass background checks. It's bipartisan, has support across the ideological spectrum, and will save lives!
Dear Senator [Senator’s name],
As a constituent, I urge you to support S.2135, the Fix NICS Act, which will prevent tragedies such as the shooting in Sutherland Springs by improving record submission to NICS! This bill, which has support from across the ideological and political spectrum, keeps guns out of the hands of prohibited abusers by ensuring the FBI has access to the information they need when conducting a firearms background check. The FixNICS Act will protect victims and survivors of domestic violence, their children and their communities from gun-facilitated abuse and gun homicide. Please support this important bill!
Thank you for your attention to this matter!
[Your name and location]
We'd love to hear your action steps and results. Let us know how it went in the comments!
Effective October 6, 2022, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have joined together. To learn more about this exciting venture, to expand the eco-system of holistic and inclusive support for survivors and advocates, please visit Project Opal.