On December 4, 2017, National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury wrote a letter to House leadership supporting H.R. 4477, the “Fix NICS Act.” The Fix NICS Act of 2017 is a United States congressional bill that applies penalties to government agencies for not reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Text of Letter:
Dear Mr. Speaker and Representatives McCarthy, Pelosi, and Hoyer,
I am writing on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong support forH.R. 4477, the “Fix NICS Act” as reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Our nation’s firearms laws are designed to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and every year, thousands of firearms sales are blocked because the attempted purchaser failed a background check run by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).Unfortunately, recent events have shown us that Federal agencies and State governments have too often failed to upload all relevant information to the NICS, allowing dangerous individuals and violent criminals to obtain firearms.
This failure to upload all relevant data to NICS had tragic consequences in several mass shooting events. The perpetrator in the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas should never have been able to lawfully purchase a firearm-the system failed and with catastrophic results. In this case, and potentially others, persons who were prohibited from obtaining a firearm passed the NICS background check because their criminal and mental health records were not uploaded to the system.
This legislation will require Federal agencies and States to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading required information to the background check system. It establishes measures to verify the accuracy of the records and also creates a domestic abuse and violence prevention initiative to ensure States have adequate resources to comply with existing law. It will also hold Federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system and reauthorize key programs within the NICS to ensure that firearms stay out of the hands of those who are prohibited from obtaining them.
On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we are proud to support this bill. Thank you for your leadership on law enforcement issues and if I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Senior Advisor, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.