#FixNICS: Advocating State Participation

National Instant Background Check System NICS logo

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 (30)

  1. The NICS is travesty of justice & a gross infringement on our rights. The only way to fix it is to repeal it, get rid of it. It has not been proven to provide any effective means for preventing anyone from committing a crime. Why should law abiding People have to prove they are in order to exercise a right? They shouldn’t have to is the answer. Damn the NRA for supporting such a statute. Criminals will be criminals & it is not illegal to be mental ill. Besides the majority of People that have a mental illness are harmless. The ones that aren’t are more than likely to be a danger to themselves than others. They are still entitled to their 2nd Amendment rights. Y’all forget it’s a right, not a privilege to be granted by government. Furthermore the NICS is a due process violation. Most People get on the list with out a hearing to determine whether they are violent, or if they pose a danger to themselves, or others. Besides are we going to live in fear of the remote possibility that some nutcase is gonna be coming after us. There are so many better ways to deal with such cases. They involve education of People. We do not live in a peaceful world. Therefore we need to know how to protect ourselves when out in public. Being armed & trained is the best way I know. So get rid of NICS & any & all legislation like it.

  2. Hey KC, I to was in the dark about BIDS until Ray enlighten me. Sounds like the place we need to focus are attention. More so, I would think if NSSF had any loyalty to there customer base. They would advance the cause, instead of the anti 2nd amendment NICS. Very short sighted on there party. And briefly a clarification for someone else that made a comment. The USA is a republic, not a democracy. The electoral college is the difference. A democracy is no more than a popularity contest. By the way, the kind of government the democrats prefer. Anyone can be popular if you promise free stuff. Remember LBJ?

  3. Guns are a tool for an unstable individual to act out if these few individuals use a gun the amount of casualties are truly not that high and they will likely get caught or dead.

    If the system cannot detect these individuals then gun control will not stop them, if an individual wants to go on a Killing Rampage and can’t get a gun it will just get them thinking how to do it and potentially get away with it and then do it again.

    There will be casualties but if they can’t get a gun and they were to use a remote controlled airplane, drone or a helium balloon and had devised a way to disperse a toxic chemical (there are some out there that one drop can kill 700+ grown men) and they were to use it and take out an entire crowd of 300+ for say or even some election campaign, protest or concert. The likeliness of them getting caught is down to about 15% likely less, which leaves them capable of doing it again. Or even a toxic gas in an air conditioning intake duct.

    Using the gun will get an individual who is that unstable off the streets out of society whether it be locked up or dead.

    This is a Hard Core Fact but it is a Fact.

    Taking guns out of the equation will likely create a higher death rate along with a repeat of the individual after they experience the thrill that they may feel after they succeed and not get caught.

    Trying to take guns out of the equation is a cop out for a SYSTEM THAT IS FAILING TO DO ITS JOB IN THE FIRST PLACE and making guns the sole culprit, since it is what they are focusing on the most.

    Like SOME Teachers or Parents that say KIDS WILL BE KIDS until that Child strikes back with a Weapon or becomes an Adult and then after the event that Shocks the Hell out of Everybody is then described as being unstable or psychotic, Thus no one ever hears about how their rights were violated as a child and they were not protected by the Stewards of their Psychological, Emotional & Social Development, from another child who seriously needs discipline. And NOBODY WANTS to ADMIT that they WITNESSED or WERE A PART of that CHILD’S RIGHTS not being PROTECTED.

    There are some that say I experienced this and I experience that and I didn’t turn out that way but then again not everybody has nervous breakdowns or phobias that was created by something when they were a child.

    Snap Goes The Gunman…..

    These are Hard Core Facts but Facts Just the same…..

    It’s always somebody or something else to blame…….

    Let’s blame a car manufacturer or the dealership that sold the car to a crazed psychopath that used it as a weapon killing multiple people.
    So if we stop the sale of cars we’ll all be safe.

    This is not a rant or an attack on teachers or parents this is just a statement of facts that guns are not the problem and we must acknowledge the problem before it can be fixed.

  4. As an FFL holder, retired police officer and former owner of a gun store, I offer this story. Even my wife will verify it as true. A man entered my pawn shop, pawned a pistol. My policy was tell them that would have to fill out and pass a check to redeem their gun (ATF for 4473). When this guy returned a few days later, he filled the form and NICS was called. They denied him the pistol. After he went ballistic and accused me of trying to steal the pistol, I paid him the original cost of the gun and kicked him out. We called NICS, had to talk with a supervisor and she said we could turn this in, but she knew nothing would be done and we were wasting our time. I had the form (4473), his signature swearing it was correct and even his picture. I have since retired but will never forget the incident.

    1. I am not up on the obligations of an FFL, as I bought a weapon and filled out a 4473 that I signed and was put in to NICS through the internet. On the back it states I may pick up the weapon after three business days not counting the day it was put in. I have been waiting 30 days and the online store (SW) has declined to release the weapon. Apparently they can choose what parts of the Brady Act they are going to follow. Now I have to go in and fill out another 4473 as they are only good for 30 days.

  5. Never heard of BIDS until Ray mentioned it. Sounds like a good system to me; still possible to misuse but less likely. While we’re at it, shouldn’t there be a background check for voting? Either that or I should only have to show my voter ID to buy a gun, since we know there’s no voter fraud…

    1. BIDS is fine except that it CANNOT work as described.

      FIRST: The system described would have to rely on pushing the entire list of every prohibited person to every FFL every time the list was updated — which would mean at least daily. The only alternative would be for each FFL to be required to download the entire newest list immediately prior to each sale (or at least each day they have any sale). The burden of such a system would be far greater than NICS. Sales for high volume dealers would be less effected, but the burden for small local gun shops would be enormous, especially in rural areas where high speed Internet connections are either unavailable or very costly.

      SECOND: The proposed BIDS system places full responsibility for searching the prohibited list on the FFL for each transfer. This requires either a lengthy manual search or using a dedicated computer program on a computer with sufficient speed and storage to handle the database and the search. Again, this is a relatively minor added expense for major a major FFL processing dozens of transfers every day, but a significant burden for smaller local gun shops and nearly impossible for small businesses that are required to hold an FFL and to process transactions that are not really sales (pawn shops, individual custom gun smiths and engravers, etc.)

      THIRD: Simply the risk of making an ‘honest mistake’ doing the database search would force many small local FFLs out of business. Under NICS there is no risk for the FFL, under BIDS making an honest mistake would be a felony. FFLs would find the cost of business insurance skyrocketing to cover the added risk.

      Bottom Line: BIDS sounds great — to the same people who are doing everything they can to limit honest citizens access to legal firearms — it would force most small local gun shops and many small firearms-related businesses out of business.

    2. I wonder with today’s technology and software applications. Not to mention the millions of dollars thrown at NICS. If BIDS would be more applicable than NICS. Both require human input. So both are subject to to imperfection. There must be a better way than NICS.

  6. Yes, they did die in vain — because they raised a generation consisting of many snowflakes plus a sprinkling of utter fools.

    The snowflakes want the government to take away all freedom so that they will never have to face reality. Meanwhile the utter fools run around babbling catch phrases like ‘cold dead hands’ and complaining about “the government”

    The US has gone from #GreatestGeneration to #GenerationSnowflake in just seventy years. The end is not far off.

    As others have observed:
    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

    Or has Robert Heinlein put it:
    “The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a “warm body” democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

    ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader – the barbarians enter Rome.

    Mine was a lovely world – until the parasites took over.”

    1. Historically speaking, your thoughts are accurate. Please consider that “We the people” of this nation. “One nation under God ” are the exception! This country was established on the principles of our Christian faith. And defined by the US constitution. Two very dramatically different dynamics than the Romans and Greeks for example. In addition, the individuals that participate in blogs like this. Will not go silently into the pen with the sheepels. We have the 2nd amendment! Furthermore, the main stream media just report’s that the sheepels are in control. We just proved that’s not the truth. We elected president Trump against the will of the establishment and the sheepels. 8 years of Trump and 8 years of Pence will go along way towards righting the wrongs.

    2. Well, I for one stand with Jeff. I will utter catch phrases and fly my three percent flag. I will protect myself, my friends, those around me, our constitution, and our country as I have tried to do since I took my oath of enlistment in 1972.

    3. Ooops, sorry I got that wrong. I will BABBLE catch phrases. UTTER is the kind of fool I allegedly am, since I’m definitely NOT a snowflake.

    4. Jeff – I’m sorry to say you are wrong. There is nothing exceptional about Christianity as a founding influence – look at all the violence and repression that both our country and other “christian dominated” countries have promulgated in the last 2000 years (are you truly proud of the way the native Americans were treated? The Irish in the early 20th century? The Japanese in the US – most of them citizens – during WWII? The manner in which the US stole Hawaii from their existing government? Slavery? Was all this “good” Christian behavior?) However other religious systems also have issues so don’t feel it’s a Christian thing. In general it is not the religion but the people who espouse it, paying little heed to the laudable tenets of their religion, instead causing problems by acting on their own venal desires ahead of all else. We call it “keeping up with the Joneses”. Or as had been noted previously – bread and circuses. And as long as any warm body can vote, with no repercussions accruing to them for their vote, for what they want there will be no stopping the general decline of a democracy. If you want to slow this spiral and possibly reverse it then the franchise to vote must be earned through effort that will make that vote a prized responsibility – one where self gratification may be put aside for a time and the citizen might just look critically at the item being voted on and vote for the general good – not his own best interests (unlike many of our brainwashed sheeples – once had to have a discussion with the mother-in-law about how she could actually vote for Bush if she wanted – she did not have to vote for the guy from her party if she thought someone else might do a better job – hate that kind of idiocy!)

    5. Well John, the right to your opinion, and the confidence you have in the intellect . Is severely uninformed. So I would ask only one question. If you choose to dismiss God’s influence in the establishment of this great nation. And you fail to acknowledge the God given liberty of freedom of choice. Which allows you to blame God for the choices that human’s make. Just exactly what do you concider to be the source for a moral foundation for this great nation? The Christian God that I serve, does not require me to kill or imprison those who believe differently. It’s human greed and lust for power and control of others. That verify the darkness2 of the un redeemed heart. My God does not tell you what choices to make. He offers a better choice than the dark heart offers.

    1. BIDS is a dream for the ANTI-RKBA movement! It would drive many small local gun shops out of business for exactly the reasons I described in my reply to KC Jailer

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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 !

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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?

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