Senators Join Forces to Shore up FBI Gun Background Check Database

Senators on both sides teamed up to fortify the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers after the Air Force neglected to report the criminal history of the gunman who killed twenty-five people at a Texas church.

The bill would essentially require all federal agencies and states to accurately report relevant criminal information to the FBI.

The bill, backed by the Senate’s number two Republican, John Cornyn (R-TX), incentivizes states to comply by rewarding them with federal grant preferences, and conversely punishes those who fail to properly report required records.

“Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy, as the country saw last week in Sutherland Springs, Texas,” Cornyn said. “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.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a proponent of gun restrictions, said much more needs to be done on the issue of gun violence, but he said he thinks the bill will keep thousands of dangerous people from buying guns.

“It represents the strongest update to the background checks system in a decade, and provides the foundation for more compromise in the future,” Murphy said.

The bill would penalize agencies that fail to forward required information by prohibiting political appointees from receiving any bonus pay. The legislation also seeks to improve accountability by publicly reporting which agencies and states fail to provide the required records.

 

 Image: "John Cornyn" by Gage Skidmore. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0, cropped from original.

 

Posted in The Takedown

Tags: FBI, background checks, purchasing a gun, firearm authority

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