Cornyn Statement on First Anniversary of Sutherland Springs Shooting
AUSTIN – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement in advance of the first anniversary of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs:
“One year ago, Sutherland Springs, Texas endured what no one should ever have to. Texans have poured their love and support into the First Baptist community, but the lives tragically taken that day can never be brought back. As we remember that solemn day, please join me once again in prayer for First Baptist Church, the victims of this senseless violence, and the entire Sutherland Springs community.”
In response to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Sen. Cornyn authored the Fix NICS Act to strengthen the criminal background check system and ensure convicted felons and domestic abusers cannot lawfully purchase a firearm. This bill was signed into law on March 23, 2018.
Fix NICS Act Background
“For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence. Just one record that’s not properly reported can lead to tragedy, as the country saw last week in Sutherland Springs, Texas. 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.”
Senator John Cornyn
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.