WH: Trump Supports Efforts to Improve the Federal Background Check System

Melanie Arter | February 19, 2018 | 5:15pm EST
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President Donald Trump (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump supports a bipartisan bill by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) that would improve the background check system, the White House said Monday.

“The President spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. Murphy introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation. While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The Fix NICS Act (S.2135), which was introduced in November 2017, has 35 co-sponsors, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Md.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

It penalizes federal agencies who fail to properly report relevant records and incentivizes states to improve their overall reporting. The bill also directs more federal funding to the accurate reporting of domestic violence records, according to a press release by Feinstein’s office.

The Fix NICS Act “requires federal agencies and states to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading all information to the background check system showing that a person is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under current law—including measures to verify the accuracy of records.”

It also “holds federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system through public reporting and prohibiting bonus pay for political appointees.”

The measure also “rewards states who comply with their NICS implementation plans through federal grant preferences and incentives, while increasing accountability through public reporting for those who do not comply with their plans.”

It also reauthorizes and improves important law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS.

The bill also “creates a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing firearms under current law.”

And finally, it “provides important technical assistance to federal agencies and states who are working to comply with NICS record-sharing requirements.”

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