U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly announced his formal support last week for bipartisan legislation, the Fix NICS Act, which would improve the nation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for firearms purchases. Currently, many federal agencies and state governments often fail to provide NICS with relevant information on dangerous individuals or violent criminals, leaving the system open to significant error. The Fix NICS Act would improve federal agency compliance through new accountability measures and would incentivize states to transfer all of their relevant information by rewarding them with federal grant preferences.
Donnelly said, “This bipartisan legislation would help ensure that our background check system has as much relevant information as possible so that felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals – who are not allowed to purchase a gun under existing law – aren’t able to do so because of missing information.”
In addition to efforts to increase compliance from federal agencies and state governments within the existing background check system, the Fix NICS Act would create 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 it would provide technical assistance to federal agencies and state governments that are working to comply with NICS.