#FixNICS: Advocating State Participation

By Dave Dolbee published on in General, News, Videos

Every federally licensed firearms retailer (FFL) is required by law to run a background check through NICS before transferring a firearm to an individual, whether the transaction is happening in a store, at a gun show, or online. While the merits of of background checks can be debated, so long as the system is in place, most believe it should include the records that disqualify individuals from buying a firearm—criminal and mental health records that prohibit an individual from owning a firearm. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is spearheading an initiative known as FixNICS.

America’s firearms retailers are on the front line of preventing firearms from getting into the hands of those who should not have them. However, the system is only as good as the records in the database. Appearing on CNN Headline News Network’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered, the NSSF’s Larry Keane discussed the firearms industry’s FixNICS initiative and called on the Department of Defense to ensure it is doing its part to enhance public safety.

Since 2013, the NSSF has led the successful nationwide FixNICS initiative effort to improve the reporting of all criminal and adjudicated mental health records by the states to NICS. To date, 16 states have adopted NSSF-led FixNICS changes. Since the campaign was launched through the end of 2016, the number of disqualifying mental health records submitted to NICS increased by 170 percent going from about 1.7 million in December 2012 to nearly 4.5 million today.

What do you think about FixNICS? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Comments (28)

  • Phil H

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    If a person is not adjudicated as needing to be in prison because of crimes committed, or adjudicated mentally such that they are not safe for themselves or others to be free and live a public life, then they should not be allowed to possess a gun. But if they have the freedom to be at large, they should have full second amendment rights and we will deal with it. If you let them out, they should be free, including the ability to protect themselves, their families, and their community because all humans who are innocent until proven guilty have the right to participate in society at large and should have all the basic rights of the constitution. No background checks necessary under that system. If they are out, they are free.

    Reply

    • 70's Operator

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      Several acquaintances of mine have situations that fall into this category unfortunately. 1 had a weed charge in the early 80’s. After over 40years of being a law abiding American, he still can’t own a weapon to protect his family. That’s just wrong. When his debt to “society” was paid, all of his rights should have been restored. I mean it was a nonviolent crime.

      Reply

  • ctcgunny

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    The NSSF should be ashamed of themselves. Those of us in the shooting should stop supporting them! As I have told my congressman, NICS doesn’t need to be “fixed”, it needs to be enforced. As stated before, if 16 states have already implemented chances then the other 34 need to jump on board. The bill going through Congress now smacks of a totalitarian government. Demand that H.R. 4434 be defeated. Shame on the NSSF for their stance on this matter and shame on Cheaper Than Dirt for giving it any attention.

    Reply

    • TomC

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      Great idea, Gunny. Shooters should “stop supporting ” the NSSF. Exactly how would you suggest doing that? Should we stop buying guns and ammunition from all NSSF members?

      You say that NICS “doesn’t need to be fixed, just enforced.” Have you looked at the “fix” that NSSF supports — it consists of enforcing the existing requirements that states and federal agencies report disqualifications to NICS — Exactly what you say you want! So you are calling for a boycott of NSSF for supporting exactly what you want.

      Reply

  • Don

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    This is all well and good, but if a bad guy wants a gun or even a good guy wants a gun they will get a gun. You can buy 80% guns, you can 3D print a gun, etc. This is all slippery slope stuff. We give them another inch another inch another inch until finally your right is taken away. If we truly had a second amendment we wouldn’t have half the laws and rules we have today. The only way to truly stop every shooting is to ban guns and regulate the sale of every single gun part, every bullet, etc. That is what is called tyranny and it’s coming. Even then can they stop 3D printing? Home machining? Now you’re into regulating more things. Groups like everytown will stop at nothing and neither should we. If you haven’t drawn your line in the sand yet I suggest you hurry up.

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  • NMK

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    I’m sorry, but, none of this is going to help curb gun violence. If a person has it in their heart to do a bad deed, they will accomplish it by taking a gun and doing what their heart demands with a gun that was procured by an honest citizen and procured through what ever background system is used.

    Reply

  • dprato

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    There is no real fix for the system for one glaring reason. The FBI does not pursue but a handful of fraudulent applications according to the penalties listed on the application for lying. They basically deny the firearm and let the liar go free to purchase a firearm illegally if they want to do that. If they do not enforce their own laws what good is any kind of system that simply denies a firearm to someone who has lied on the application to get one?

    Reply

  • Leon

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    When something is broken, there are 2 choices regarding what to do. First, study it in intimate detail to see what parts need adjustment, replacement, redesign, re-engineering, etc. Second, admit it was a bad idea from the first pencil to touch the drawing board and scrap the whole thing. NICS, being an Infringement on the 2A, falls into the second category. Every person at every level who supports it even partially should be arrested, and the ones who did so after swearing an oath of office to support and defend the US Constitution should be hung as traitors. If the original supporters are now deceased, hang their heirs !

    Reply

  • Spencer

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    Part of that law for background checks should have a provision for punishing anyone who either doesn’t do their job or those who obstruct the background checks. That damned well should include politicians!

    Reply

  • Jeff

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    As an addendum to my earlier post. If someone gets caught with pot in Tennessee and someone else gets caught with pot in California. Which one is most likely to be changed with a felony? This example goes to the core of a flawed legal system. Based on the example. How can a system that’s so compromised by diverse political agendas. Be given more power. Strictly speaking, it is my contention that the sanctity of the 2nd amendment must take precedence. If the government is going to be given more reach. I firmly believe that there must be an independent nationwide civilian review system. That advocates equal justice to adjust to the inconsistencies of a politically perverse justice system. Your article about California’s gun sentencing laws on this site serves to further illustrate my point.

    Reply

  • Jeff

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    I find it ironic that NSSF is sliding into an anti 2nd amendment posture. Former President Obama attempted to give doctor’s the ability to declare someone unfit to own a gun. Via the health care venue. It was attached to the flight restriction regulation. Potentiality someone could be prescribed a medication for depression or anxiety. And as a result they would’ve been placed on a government list that disqualified them for gun ownership. I would point out that senators and congressmen that were accidentally placed on the no fly list found it nearly impossible to be removed from the list. NSSF are fools and I will do my part to inform gun owners of this betrayal. You would think NSSF understood more laws will not stop evil.

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  • TomC

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    As you say, one can argue the merits and effectiveness of NICS but it is the system that we have.

    Ensuring that all jurisdictions enter all valid disqualifications in a timely manner is essential to the effectiveness of NICS.

    BUT the problem that makes much of the RKBA community leery of legislation to “fix” or “enhance” or especially “expand” NICS is that we have actually seen what happens when anti-gun bureaucrats decide to enter NON-disqualifying data into NICS as a disqualification. The laws about who can and cannot possess a firearm are not 100% crystal clear but they are sufficiently clear that we KNOW circumstances that were NOT legal disqualifications were directed to be added to NICS under the Obama administration.

    Reply

    • Jeff

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      Please Tom, is there one cancer that’s preferable to another. The 2nd amendment is the only freedom that stops the US government and foreign governments from forcing there will on us. Anyone that fails to realize that John McCain or George Bush or Obama or Chuck Schumer. Thinks they are the privileged keepers of freedom. That they are superior in intellect and wisdom to the commonwealth. Are just weak and defeated already. The government serves it’s own interests, not freedom. Not equal justice for all. Just look at the what we have been allowed to see since president Trump has taken office. Obama stole $150 billion from US taxpayers and gave it to the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism. Now we find out our leaders are paying off people to cover up vulgar behavior with taxpayers $. The government is insane and out of control. A parting thought. The education system is effectively dumbing down1 the next generation. Who will stand for the freedom and liberty are fathers and grandfathers fought and died for. Did they died in vain?

      Reply

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