WASHINGTON — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) today is praising a milestone achievement of a 241 percent increase of state submissions of adjudicated mental health records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System database since the firearms industry launched the FixNICS® campaign in 2013. Just 1.7 million such records existed in the FBI’s database when NSSF began the campaign in 2013 to fix the background check system. Today, there are more than 5.6 million records.
“This remarkable achievement demonstrates the firearms industry’s commitment to real solutions for safer communities,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel. “The firearms industry conceived of the point-of-purchase instant background check system that exists today. We have spent years working successfully to fix the system so that it works as intended. We have improved the quality and accuracy of background checks by changing the law in 16 states and at the federal level. It is critical that our background checks are updated, accurate and reliable. Firearms retailers rely upon this system to be accurate to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands. This milestone is what bipartisan common ground looks like. It is a development that we can all agree is good for the safety of our communities.”
A background check is only as good as the records in the database. That is why the firearms industry supports improving the current NICS system by increasing the number of prohibiting records states submit to the FBI databases, helping to prevent illegal transfers of firearms to those who are prohibited from owning firearms under current law. Including these missing records will help ensure more accurate and complete background checks.
State participation in the NICS system is voluntary because the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not allow the federal government to mandate the states to submit records. NSSF worked with 16 states to change laws to increase submissions of disqualifying records. NSSF also worked with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on the bipartisan FixNICS legislation that was signed into law by President Trump to require federal agencies to submit all disqualifying records, incentivizes states to improve their overall reporting and directs more federal funding to the accurate reporting of domestic violence records.
Several states still do not fully submit their disqualifying records to help keep firearms from falling into the hands of those prohibited by law from purchasing them. The firearms industry remains committed to real solutions like fixing the broken background check system to make our communities safe.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.