Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Senate Passes NICS Improvement Act, House Concurs

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

After months of careful negotiation, pro-gun legislation was passed through Congress today. The National Rifle Association (NRA) worked closely with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to address his concerns regarding H.R. 2640, the National Instant Check System (NICS) Improvement Act. These changes make a good bill even better. The end product is a win for American gun owners.

Late yesterday, anti-gun Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), failed to delay progress of this pro-gun measure. The Violence Policy Center, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and other gun control and gun ban groups are opposed to the passage of this legislation because of the many pro-gun improvements contained within.

The NICS Improvement Act does the following to benefit gun owners:

 

  • Permanently prohibits the FBI from charging a “user fee” for NICS checks.

 

  • Requires all federal agencies that impose mental health adjudications or commitments to provide a process for “relief from disabilities.”  Extreme anti-gun groups like the Violence Policy Center and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence have expressed “strong concerns” over this aspect of the bill—surely a sign that it represents progress for gun ownership rights.

 

  • Prevents reporting of mental adjudications or commitments by federal agencies when those adjudications or commitments have been removed.

 

  • Requires removal of expired, incorrect or otherwise irrelevant records. Today, totally innocent people (e.g., individuals with arrest records, who were never convicted of the crime charged) are sometimes subject to delayed or denied firearm purchases because of incomplete records in the system.

 

  • Provides a process of error correction if a person is inappropriately committed or declared incompetent by a federal agency. The individual would have an opportunity to correct the error-either through the agency or in court.

 

  • Prevents use of federal “adjudications” that consist only of medical diagnoses without findings that the people involved are dangerous or mentally incompetent. This would ensure that purely medical records are never used in NICS. Gun ownership rights would only be lost as a result of a finding that the person is a danger to themselves or others, or lacks the capacity to manage his own affairs.

 

  • Improves the accuracy and completeness of NICS by requiring federal agencies and participating states to provide relevant records to the FBI. For instance, it would give states an incentive to report those who were adjudicated by a court to be "mentally defective," a danger to themselves, a danger to others or suicidal.

 

  • Requires a Government Accountability Office audit of past NICS improvement spending.

  

The bill includes significant changes from the version that previously passed the House, including:

 

 

  • Requires incorrect or outdated records to be purged from the system within 30 days after the Attorney General learns of the need for correction.

 

  • Requires agencies to create “relief from disabilities” programs within 120 days, to prevent bureaucratic foot-dragging.

 

  • Provides that if a person applies for relief from disabilities and the agency fails to act on the application within a year—for any reason, including lack of funds—the applicant can seek immediate review of his application in federal court.

 

  • Allows awards of attorney’s fees to applicants who successfully challenge a federal agency’s denial of relief in court.

 

  • Requires that federal agencies notify all people being subjected to a mental health “adjudication” or commitment process about the consequences to their firearm ownership rights, and the availability of future relief.

 

  • Earmarks 3-10% of federal implementation grants for use in operating state “relief from disabilities” programs.

 

  • Elimination of all references to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations defining adjudications, commitments, or determinations related to Americans’ mental health. Instead, the bill just uses the same terms as in the Gun Control Act , thereby leaving interpretation of the terms to the courts rather than to BATFE.

On Wednesday evening, by unanimous consent, the U.S. House accepted the Senate amendment to H.R. 2640. The legislation is headed to the President's desk for his signature into law.

(Note: On Jan. 8, 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 2640 into law.)

Also see:

IN THIS ARTICLE
Background Checks/NICS
TRENDING NOW
Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Senator Grassley Blocks Gun Control on Senate Floor

News  

Friday, December 3, 2021

Senator Grassley Blocks Gun Control on Senate Floor

On December 2, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) attempted and failed to pass H.R. 8, the dangerously flawed, so-called “universal” background check bill.

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.

Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf Vetoes Constitutional Carry

Friday, December 3, 2021

Pennsylvania: Governor Tom Wolf Vetoes Constitutional Carry

Anti-gun Democrat Governor Tom Wolf kept his promise and vetoed Senate Bill 565 on Thursday. 

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

News  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Biden Administration Bans Importation of Russian Ammunition

The Biden Administration’s Department of State announced that it will soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition into the United States. According to a release on the Department of State’s website, “[n]ew and pending permit applications ...

Ohio: House Passes Constitutional Carry

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Ohio: House Passes Constitutional Carry

Today, the House of Representatives voted 60-32 to pass House Bill 227, the constitutional carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

The Right to Bear Arms Gets Its Day in Court

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Right to Bear Arms Gets Its Day in Court

November 3 was a historic day for constitutional rights in the United States, as the U.S. Supreme Court delved into a detailed and sophisticated exploration of the meaning and scope of the Second Amendment’s right ...

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.

Sixth Circuit Bails-Out ATF

News  

Monday, December 6, 2021

Sixth Circuit Bails-Out ATF

Last week, the Sixth Circuit failed to achieve the majority necessary to correct the ATF’s shifting classifications of bump stocks as “machine guns.”

New Jersey:  Gov. Murphy Pushing More Gun Control in “Lame Duck” Session

Thursday, December 2, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Pushing More Gun Control in “Lame Duck” Session

Gov. Phil Murphy was joined this morning by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to announce yet another assault on New Jersey gun owners.

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.