The Mountain Shakes and Out Comes A Mouse ~ AESOP’S FABLES.
Is this how we should view the ‘FIX NICS’ bill introduced in the Senate today sponsored by Senators Murphy (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), the latter who’s also shepherding the national CCW-reciprocity bill through Congress and onto Trump’s Oval Office desk?
Or perhaps we should refer to this bill as ‘Better Late Than Never’ because it plugs some holes in a process which is only twenty-five years old.
Figures that the Wise Men and Women of the U.S. Senate would come up with something after the recent spate of mass shootings which seem to be breaking out with almost weekly regularity after almost a year’s peace and quiet following the inauguration of You-Know-Who. And by the way, don’t think for one second that John Cornyn didn’t get his marching orders from the folks he represents who work in Fairfax, VA even though he’s supposedly the senior senator from the Lone Star State. Because what the NRA doesn’t want their Faithful to know is that they have quietly supported laws which strip domestic abusers of their guns in Oregon, South Carolina, Wisconsin and several other states.
In short, what the Cornyn-Murphy bill creates is a process that will providing funding to states which develop and implement a better fail-safe system for sending relevant information to FBI-NICS, and also require the Justice Department to evaluate the extent to which every federal agency (read: Department of Defense), and state meets the compliance goals. It also creates a new program which (I quote from the Press Release which accompanied the bill makes sure 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.”
The phrase, ‘under current law’ obviously refers to the questions which must be answered prior to a background check by everyone who walks into a gun store and buys a gun. If you reply in the affirmative to any of these questions about your legal background, you fall into what is called a ‘prohibited category’ and in theory, the FBI will find you in their database and the purchase or transfer will be denied. The whole point of the FIX-NICS law is to make sure that every jurisdiction sends forward all the information in their possession to keep the names of all ‘prohibited person’ accurate and up to date.
Generally speaking, you cannot get a gun if you are “under indictment or have ever been convicted in any court for a felony, or any other crime for which a judge could imprison you for more than one year. You also are a ‘prohibited person’ if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. But here’s where things get tricky. The NICS approval goes through if you were convicted of a misdemeanor other than domestic violence punishable by ‘’two years or less.” And how many state felonies are plea bargained down to misdemeanors? Plenty.
The good news about this bill is that any time the word gets around Gun Land that the government is ‘cracking down,’ don’t ask me how, don’t ask me why, but people become more serious about complying with the law. I’m not saying that gun owners aren’t law-abiding. Of course they are. But if you live in state which doesn’t require a background check for a private gun sale, all of a sudden the number of such checks starts going up. If you have lots of guns lying around the house, maybe you buy a safe and start locking the bangers away.
The FIX-NICS won’t put the fear of God into anyone who wants to use a gun in an illegal or improper way. But it does bring government back into the issue of gun safety, and that is exactly where the government belongs.