Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

"NICS Improvement Amendments Act" Not Gun Control!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Last week, when the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2640, "The NICS Improvement Amendments Act," by a voice vote, some gun owners were confused as to the exact scope and effect of this proactive reform bill. Let’s look at the facts.

H.R. 2640 provides federal funds to states to update their mental health records, to ensure that those currently prohibited under federal law from owning a gun because of mental health adjudications are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). For many years, NRA has supported ensuring that those who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent are screened by the NICS.

In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law. Under H.R. 2640, certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm. Examples are adjudications that have expired or been removed, or commitments from which a person has been completely released with no further supervision required. Also excluded are 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. The latter provision addresses very real concerns about disability decisions by the Veterans Administration concerning our brave men and women in uniform. Remember that one of the Clinton Administration’s last acts was to force 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. H.R. 2640 will also require 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.

This legislation will also ensure—as a permanent part of federal law—that no fee or tax is associated with a NICS check¾a 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. H.R. 2640 will also mandate an audit of past spending on NICS projects to determine if funds were misused in any way.

It is also important to note what H.R. 2640 will not do. This bill will not add any new classes of prohibited persons to NICS, and it will not prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital for treatment.

So why the confusion?

First and foremost, the national media elite is irate that NRA has been able to roll back significant portions of the Clinton Administration`s anti-gun agenda and pass pro-active legislation in Congress and in many states. They are desperate to put a "gun control" spin on anything they can. The only real question here is¾given the media`s long-standing and flagrant bias on the gun issue¾why are some gun owners suddenly swallowing the bait?

Second, some people simply do not like the NICS. In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Act, including a mandatory five-day waiting period, over strong NRA opposition. Due to NRA’s insistence, that waiting period was allowed to sunset in 1998, once the NICS was up and running nationwide. Now that the NICS is in place, it makes sense to ensure that this system works as instantly, fairly, and accurately as possible.

Also troubling to many is the fact that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is a cosponsor of the bill. Carolyn McCarthy is among the most anti-gun Members of Congress. She has introduced another bill, H.R. 1022, which represents the most sweeping gun ban in history. But Rep. McCarthy is not the only co-sponsor of H.R. 2640. She was joined by some of the most pro-gun members of the House of Representatives in crafting this bill, including John Dingell (D-Mich.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.), and Lamar Smith (R-Tex.). A few years ago, when Congress passed a bill allowing airline pilots to be armed, one of the lead sponsors was anti-gun Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.). Sen. Boxer’s support of that legislation did not cause gun owners to oppose it.

Finally, some people have asked why the bill passed on a voice vote. The reality is that there’s nothing unusual about passing a widely supported bill by voice vote. Even so, the House rules allow any House member to request a recorded vote on any issue, and in practice, those requests are universally granted. Despite having that option on the floor, no representative asked for a roll call on this bill.

H.R. 2640 is now pending in the Senate. Rest assured that if the anti-gunners use this legislation as a vehicle to advance gun control restrictions, NRA will pull our support for the bill and vigorously oppose its passage!

(For additional information, please click here: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=219&issue=018.)

TRENDING NOW
Texas: Senate Passes HB 1927

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Texas: Senate Passes HB 1927

Early this evening, after more than 6 hours of debate and discussion on more than two dozen amendments, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 1927, constitutional carry legislation, on an 18-13 vote.

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Bills Have Now Passed Both Legislative Chambers

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Bills Have Now Passed Both Legislative Chambers

Recently, the Louisiana House passed Constitutional Carry legislation, House Bill 596. 

Biden Goes All in On Calls for Extreme Gun Control

News  

Monday, May 3, 2021

Biden Goes All in On Calls for Extreme Gun Control

President Biden dropped any pretense at “moderation” in his first address to a joint session of Congress since assuming the presidency.

Leaked ATF Rule Would Upend Firearm Industry

News  

Monday, April 26, 2021

Leaked ATF Rule Would Upend Firearm Industry

On April 20th, The Reload, published what appears to be a leaked draft of an ATF proposed rule.

South Carolina AG Wilson Wins Against Columbia Gun Control

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

South Carolina AG Wilson Wins Against Columbia Gun Control

On May 4th, the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of Attorney General Alan Wilson, agreeing that the City of Columbia’s anti-gun ordinances violate the state’s preemption law.

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.

South Carolina: Constitutional Carry Amendment Fails

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

South Carolina: Constitutional Carry Amendment Fails

Today, the Senate debated adding a constitutional carry amendment to House Bill 3094, the open carry bill. Unfortunately, the amendment failed to be adopted. 

Vermont: Amendment Poses Legal Jeopardy for Citizens Engaged in Self-Defense

Friday, May 7, 2021

Vermont: Amendment Poses Legal Jeopardy for Citizens Engaged in Self-Defense

Legislation introduced this session to address policing took a turn for the worse recently.  It was amended in the Senate and now represents a striking blow to citizens’ right to self-defense. 

South Carolina: Senate Passes Open Carry With Free CWP Amendment

Friday, May 7, 2021

South Carolina: Senate Passes Open Carry With Free CWP Amendment

Yesterday, the Senate voted 28-16 to pass House Bill 3094, the open carry bill. Though the constitutional carry amendment failed, the Senate did manage to adopt an amendment to eliminate the fee for a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). ...

ATF Proposed Rule a Blatant Attack on American Gun Industry

News  

Saturday, May 8, 2021

ATF Proposed Rule a Blatant Attack on American Gun Industry

Two weeks ago we reported on a leaked document that appeared to be a new ATF proposed rule to amend several key definitions in federal firearm regulations

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.