U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today released the following statement after the Senate passed the Fix NICS Act as a part of the government funding bill. Fix NICS will strengthen the criminal background check system to ensure convicted felons and domestic abusers cannot illegally purchase a firearm. The bill has the support of a diverse range of victims’ rights, gun safety, law enforcement, and Second Amendment organizations.
“After the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, I vowed to that community to do what I could so no family, school, or congregation would have to go through that again,” Sen. Cornyn said. “While it’s not the only solution, I’m confident this bill will save lives.”
“I’m grateful for the many advocates and families affected by gun violence who came together behind this effort to finally fix and strengthen the criminal background check system.”
Background on the Fix NICS Act
- Requires federal agencies and states to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading all information to the background check system showing that a person is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under current law—including measures to verify the accuracy of records.
- Holds federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system through public reporting and prohibiting bonus pay for political appointees.
- Rewards states who comply with their NICS implementation plans through federal grant preferences and incentives, while increasing accountability through public reporting for those who do not comply with their plans.
- Reauthorizes and improves important law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS.
- Creates 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.
- Provides important technical assistance to federal agencies and states who are working to comply with NICS record-sharing requirements.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.