Senators introduce background check compliance bill
by Evan Wilt
Posted 11/16/17, 12:27 pm
WASHINGTON—A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Thursday to bolster the U.S. background check system for purchasing guns in response to the Nov. 5 mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, and longtime gun control advocate Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., co-authored the bill. The Fix NICS Act seeks to ensure authorities fully comply with existing law and report relevant criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The legislation would penalize federal agencies that fail to do so and incentivizes states to keep accurate records. The Sutherland Springs shooter, who killed 26 people during a worship service, had a domestic abuse conviction and a bad-conduct discharge from the U.S. Air Force, which failed to report his criminal history to the NICS. “Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy, as the country saw last week in Sutherland Springs, Texas,” Cornyn said in a statement. “This bill aims to help fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms.” The bill has six cosponsors—three Republicans and three Democrats—in addition to Cornyn and Murphy.
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Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.