Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

H.R. 2640, The “NICS Improvement Act,” Passes House By Voice Vote

Friday, June 15, 2007

On June 13, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, the “NICS Improvement Act,” by a voice vote.  H.R. 2640 is consistent with NRA’s decades-long support for measures to prohibit firearm purchases by those who have been adjudicated by a court as mentally defective or as a danger to themselves or others.  Additionally, H.R. 2640 makes needed, and long overdue, improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). 

While the media continues to characterize this bill as a “gun-control” measure, nothing could be further from the truth.  The national media either have not bothered to read and accurately assess the text of the bill, or are deliberately manipulating and “spinning” the facts in order to stir up controversy and forward their agendas.   

Here are the facts:  H.R. 2640 would provide financial incentives to states to make records of prohibited individuals available for use in the NICS, and would also require federal agencies to provide such records.  Those blocked from buying a gun due to these newly provided and updated records in the NICS are already prohibited under current law from owning firearms.     

The basic goal of the bill is to make NICS as instant, fair, and accurate as possible.  While no piece of legislation will stop a madman bent on committing horrific crimes, those who have been found mentally incompetent by a court should be included in the NICS as they are already prohibited under federal law from owning firearms.  H.R. 2640 is sound legislation that makes numerous improvements over existing federal law, including:

  • Certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving firearms.  Adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required, will no longer prohibit the legal purchase of a firearm.

  • Excluding federal decisions about a person’s mental health that consist only of a medical diagnosis, without a specific finding that the person is dangerous or mentally incompetent. This provision addresses concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform.  (In 2000, as a parting shot at our service members, the Clinton Administration forced the names of almost 90,000 veterans and veterans’ family members to be added to a “prohibited” list; H.R. 2640 would help many of these people get their rights restored.)

  • Requiring all participating federal or state agencies to establish “relief from disability” programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court.  This type of relief has not been available at the federal level for the past 15 years.

  • Ensuring—as a permanent part of federal law—that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check, an NRA priority for nearly a decade.  While NRA has supported annual appropriations amendments with the same effect, those amendments must be renewed every year.  This provision would not expire.

  • Requiring an audit of past spending on NICS projects to find out if funds appropriated for NICS were misused for unrelated purposes. 

Neither current federal law, nor H.R. 2640, would prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital: 

  • Current law only prohibits gun possession by people who have been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to any mental institution.”  Current BATFE regulations specifically exclude commitments for observation and voluntary commitments.  Records of voluntary treatment also would not be available under federal and state health privacy laws.  

  • Similarly, voluntary drug or alcohol treatment would not be reported to NICS. First, voluntary treatment is not a “commitment.”  Second, current federal law on gun possession by drug users, as applied in BATFE regulations, only prohibits gun ownership by those whose “unlawful [drug] use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct.”  

  • In short, neither current law nor this legislation would affect those who voluntarily get psychological help.  No person who needs help for a mental health or substance abuse problem should be deterred from seeking that help due to fear of losing Second Amendment rights. 

This bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.  NRA will continue to work throughout this Congressional process and vigilantly monitor this legislation to ensure that any changes to the NICS benefit lawful gun purchasers, while ensuring that those presently adjudicated by the courts as mentally defective are included in the system.

If anti-gun Members of Congress succeed in attaching any anti-gun amendments to this bill, we will withdraw support and strongly oppose it!

For additional information, please click here:  http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=219&issue=018.
TRENDING NOW
Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

With President Joe Biden securely in office and the 2024 presidential election 43 months away, the mainstream press has determined it an acceptable time to expose the frequent fibber’s most flagrant falsehoods.

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

As President Joe Biden and his Department of Justice concoct new firearm restrictions for ordinary law-abiding Americans, 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Friday, April 16, 2021

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Early Thursday evening, on a 84-56 vote, the Texas House gave initial approval to House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), an NRA-backed permitless carry proposal that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To ...

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

More Pro-Second Amendment Bills Moving in the Texas Senate and House

Saturday, April 17, 2021

More Pro-Second Amendment Bills Moving in the Texas Senate and House

While reports about the House passing House Bill 1927, NRA-backed permitless carry legislation, dominated the news this week, there are a number of other significant pro-Second Amendment measures that are progressing through the legislative process as well.

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

Rahm Emanuel, recently the mayor of Chicago and who has previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, proposed a few curious gun control ideas ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.