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
Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Monday, February 26, 2024

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

Indiana: Pro-Gun Bills Pass the Senate

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Indiana: Pro-Gun Bills Pass the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate passed House Bill 1084, The Second Amendment Privacy Act, a bill to prohibit the use of firearm-related Merchant Category Codes.

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Two anti-gun bills continue to move in the Colorado State Legislature. HB24-1174, introduced by Majority Leader Monica Duran (D-HD 23),  is set to be heard next week in the House Finance Committee. HB24-1310 , introduced by ...

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Anti-Gun extremist State Reps. Tim Hernandez (D-04) and Elisabeth Epps (D-06) introduced House Bill 24-1292, a bill banning the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of so called “assault weapons”. 

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.