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House takes action on gun checks
The Hill ^ | May 29, 2014 | Cristina Marcos

Posted on 05/29/2014 4:30:58 PM PDT by Second Amendment First

The House on Thursday approved a funding increase for the national background check system in response to last week’s mass shooting in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Adopted 260-145, the amendment to a 2015 appropriations bill provides an additional $19.5 million in grant funding for the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is intended to prevent the sale of guns to criminals and the mentally ill.

The vote represents one of the most significant legislative action taken by the House on guns since the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Members of the GOP leadership were split on the amendment. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) voted for it despite facing a primary challenge, as did GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). But House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted against it.

Only four Democrats voted against the amendment, including Reps. John Barrow of Georgia and Nick Rahall of West Virginia, who both face tough reelection races this year.

The National Rifle Association was neutral on the NICS amendment, according to spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. Opposition from the gun rights group could have sunk the proposal.

Amendment sponsor Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) said the additional grant funding would strengthen the background check system and keep “dangerous people” from buying firearms.

"Right now, all of the information isn't getting in. When the information doesn't get into the system, we can't enforce the law, and dangerous people who otherwise wouldn't pass a background check can slip through the cracks and buy guns," Thompson said.

The California Democrat said the amendment would help states that do not have adequate funding or resources to submit comprehensive data to the NICS database.

Thompson cited the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, when the state of Virginia did not report a judge's evaluation that Seung-Hui Cho was mentally ill. Because the judge's evaluation was never submitted to NICS, Cho passed a background check to purchase a firearm before attacking the university campus.

Similarly, Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old former Santa Barbara City College student, had reportedly been suffering from mental health problems before he went on a shooting spree that ended in four deaths, including his own.

"Our states need more resources to get all their information into the NICS system. If we give them the resources, we can stop dangerous people from getting guns, and we can save lives," Thompson said.

Under current law, licensed gun dealers are required to run potential weapons buyers through NICS to screen out felons, illegal immigrants, spousal abusers, the severely mentally ill, or another category that would bar them from buying or owning weapons. States are encouraged, but not required, to report such information to NICS.

Following the Virginia Tech shooting, Congress unanimously passed legislation providing states with financial incentives to report red-flag cases to the FBI. But reporting by states remains voluntary, and there are huge discrepancies between the states when it comes to the number of submissions made.

The funding proposal approved Thursday aims to close the gap by bringing NICS grant funding up to $78 million for fiscal 2015, up from $59 million this year and $18 million in fiscal 2013.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee, said the extra funding would help prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns.

"Enforcing existing laws that keeps guns out of the hands of prohibited individuals is a goal we all share," Wolf said.

The increased funding for the NICS would be offset with cuts to other accounts, including the Commerce Department's management account and the Justice Department's information technology fund.

The other sponsors of the amendment were Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).

The House debated the amendment for seven minutes starting at 10:35 p.m. Wednesday. A recorded vote was postponed until Thursday evening.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 05/29/2014 4:30:58 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First

This should stop those stabbings.


2 posted on 05/29/2014 4:35:55 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Black skin has morphed into Teflon.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Meaningless waste of money.


3 posted on 05/29/2014 4:36:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Second Amendment First
they could start by arresting criminals caught in background checks trying to buy guns instead of simply denying them the purchase
4 posted on 05/29/2014 4:37:23 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Iron Munro

Are they linking it to the DMV Database?

Those Black Assault BMW’s are a menace.


5 posted on 05/29/2014 4:37:38 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (If Cancer were Contagious, they would call it Liberalism...)
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To: Chode

They should eliminate background checks altogether. Violent criminals should be removed from the street permanently.

Reasonable gun control is reasonably stupid.


6 posted on 05/29/2014 4:40:06 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Second Amendment First

In some states the CCW permit-application also asks “have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness,” with a check-box for “yes” or “no.” The application states that by signing it, you aagree and consent for them to check all records, public, private, privileged or otherwise; and if they find anything incorrect, then you’re guilty of perjury and other felonies subject to fine and imprisonment.

Note that the applicant also has no way of finding out if there’s some “record” which could be construed in this manner; they are basically held responsible for knowing.

The legislation-reform process on “shall-issue” CCW laws, likewise defends CCW’s on the grounds that it will “respect long-standing prohibitions regarding persons with mental illnesses.”

As to the definition of “mental illness,” the law defines as “any nervous or mental condition interfering with everyday life.” This is incredibly vague.

Likewise, this applies even to diagnoses made BEFORE the law was passed— a clear ex post facto law, since the person had no way of knowing this risk of such a positive diagnosis, prior to subjecting themself to it; it’s also a violation of Due Process, since they had no fair warning.

Finally, this is likewise a state’s denial of equal protection under the law, in violation of the 14th Amendment.

Note that NONE of these stipulations pertain to whether a particular person is actually proven to be a threat to themselves or others: on the contrary, it’s a 100% arbitrary.

Basically, the state is imposing a medieval stigma, and catering to public prejudice and ignorance, by sacrificing an unpopular minority against whom society holds an irrational fear, in order to get a law passed.

Despite that the ACLU has produced breakthroughs against public oppression of diagnosed “mental illness” to prevent persecution of persons who are not actually proven to be a threat to themselves or others— or who are likewise duly convicted of any crime— this area of persecution still exists in the right of persons to defend themselves.

Likewise, it excludes those persons who simply fail to get medical attention for such conditions— and likewise discourages such persons from doing so, by risking such a diagnosis and thereby effectively disarming themselves from being able to defend themselves by carrying concealed— which they usually need all the more due to being underprivileged and disadvantaged of finances, support, etc. due to their condition.


7 posted on 05/29/2014 4:40:50 PM PDT by Daffynition (I stand with the Bundy Family!)
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To: Second Amendment First

Background checks are unconstitutional and useless anyway. Criminals don’t limit themselves to legal guns. Hanging is what keeps down violent crime. Crazy people are crazy—not stupid.


8 posted on 05/29/2014 4:41:09 PM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: Second Amendment First
Why not just pass a law against dangerous nutcases? That should stop the carnage!

The only scary part is that the same bunch of people who consider homosexuality "normal" will be the ones doing the evaluating. There is so much subjectivity, depending on who considers what abnormal, that this could become cause to deny virtually anyone a firearm.

9 posted on 05/29/2014 4:42:46 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Second Amendment First
Why would a criminal want to go to a store and buy a gun that has a mile long paper trail if he can buy a stolen gun for less, and fire it / lose it whenever he wants without fear of being associated with the gun?

It might sound like a good idea to better separate lunatics and guns... except that it's very hard to tell if a given person is crazy or not. It is a voluntary action to go and talk to a psychiatrist. However many insane people think that they are perfectly healthy; they honestly feel no need to go see a doctor. And then there is that issue of buying a gun and then going crazy ten years later. There doesn't seem to be a way to protect the society from one lunatic out of a million without treading upon freedoms of everyone else. Freedom comes with risks; if you want to eliminate risks then you also lose your freedom. The society is being pushed toward the latter by carefully playing on its basic fears.

10 posted on 05/29/2014 4:44:21 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Kickass Conservative
Are they linking it to the DMV Database? Those Black Assault BMW’s are a menace.

Now you're profiling....you might be accused of racism.

11 posted on 05/29/2014 4:49:13 PM PDT by ealgeone (obama, borderof)
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To: cripplecreek
100%!!! but to date i don't know a single instance where a criminal turned down buying a gun has ever been arrested... was that NOT one of the reasons for background checks?
12 posted on 05/29/2014 4:50:10 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Kickass Conservative
Those Black Assault BMW’s are a menace.


13 posted on 05/29/2014 4:53:48 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Black skin has morphed into Teflon.)
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To: Second Amendment First

What country is this “ congress” group that voted for more gun controls? I know it can’t be USA Because USA has a constitution providing that: “... The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. So, perhaps this “ congress” is in communist China, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, or Cuba perhaps? Just curious.


14 posted on 05/29/2014 4:55:17 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
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To: Second Amendment First
I have a feeling there's something evil hidden in this bill. Haven't read it-- final version probably not online yet-- but I would not be surprised if this does some kind of trick, like provide funding for federal data mining of state databases, to determine who is "mentally ill" for the purposes of the NICS check.

Vigilance...

15 posted on 05/29/2014 4:55:27 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Blog: www.BackwoodsEngineer.com)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Why not just pass a law against dangerous nutcases?

Just pass a law making it illegal to break any of the other millions of laws on the books.

That will immediately stop all crime dead in its tracks.


16 posted on 05/29/2014 4:57:04 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Black skin has morphed into Teflon.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Nothing like giving Hairy Reid an opening to load it up with more gun control provisions in the Senate companion bill.


17 posted on 05/29/2014 4:59:56 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Second Amendment First

A waste of money without some meaningful guidelines for inputting mental health issues. Again, focusing on guns when a truly ill person will simply find an alternative means of wrecking havoc. Case in point; a knife and a BMW.


18 posted on 05/29/2014 5:01:08 PM PDT by Boomer One
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To: Daffynition

I think, ultimately,
all this will do is make people who think they might like to a shrink
to choose not do it because of the record it would leave behind.


19 posted on 05/29/2014 5:06:16 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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To: Second Amendment First

The Feds are cutting us checks for guns?


20 posted on 05/29/2014 5:55:52 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Second Amendment First
Meh...this was just the establishment Republican making it look like they “did something” about guns, to appease the liberal media, without actually doing anything that would p___ off the base. $19.5 million isn't even pocket change in DC money, the bureaucracy will waste it before a penny is used to expand background checks. Even the NRA didn't bother to oppose it...
21 posted on 05/29/2014 6:14:57 PM PDT by apillar
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To: Second Amendment First

Bloomberg is pushing for national registration of soft drink cups holding more than 16 ounces.


22 posted on 05/29/2014 6:35:00 PM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Second Amendment First

There ya’ go. Flip a switch. The nut goes on a rampage. The congress immediately passes more legislation on gun control. It shouldn’t take more than a few more killings to get to where they want to be.


23 posted on 05/29/2014 6:38:25 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: Repeal The 17th

I could be wrong, but in CT, if you admit *yourself* to psychiatric care, as opposed to be made to do so by another entity, like the cops [say if you are caught selling GS cookies in your birthday suit]....you may be exempted from this idiocy.

The only problem is....you have no way of checking your own records to see what will show up in the CCW permit process.

It sucks.


24 posted on 05/30/2014 11:22:51 AM PDT by Daffynition (I stand with the Bundy Family!)
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