It isn't clear just yet if the threat of impending nuclear war has something to do with it, but US citizens seem to continually be arming themselves. The latest figures from the NICS background check system, which was recently posted by the FBI, shows that August has set yet another [more]
A state representative in Upper Peninsula of Michigan has just introduced a controversial new bill that has ignited conversations amongst residents. The new bill will essentially allow legal firearm owners with concealed carry permits to take their guns in previously gun-free zones such as schools and other establishments. The proposal [more]
With the prominence of social media and online services, tourists are now becoming more comfortable using online marketplaces for their travel plans. Airbnb is one such service that is becoming quite popular here in the country. In fact, Americans are spending millions of dollars within the app itself as staying [more]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now called all Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and interested parties to join its upcoming event that will include several useful resources and presentations pertaining to licensing and gun ownership. The event called the "NICS Retailer Day" will be held on July 25 at [more]
Florida state officials have just announced that thousands of Florida residents who currently possess firearm concealed carry permits may have just had their information compromised. Thousands of names of holders and hundreds of Social Security numbers were reportedly stolen by hackers. The data breach was initiated through the online payment system [more]
The state of Arizona has passed a brand new State Bill, which is obviously aimed at Tucson city's stubborn stance on firearm background checks. The new law is specifically targeting the private sale of guns amongst citizens. A city ordinance that required background checks for gun sales was passed more [more]
WASHINGTON – September 14 – The U.S. Justice Department’s announcement yesterday of almost $17 million in grants to eight states to improve their Brady background check systems were made possible by legislation passed by Congress in December 2007 and signed by President George W. Bush in January 2008 following the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007. A number of families affected by those shootings personally urged enactment of this law, along with the Brady Campaign.
Although a Virginia court had found him to be dangerously mentally ill, the Virginia Tech shooter passed two Brady background checks because Virginia had not submitted the appropriate record to the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS).
Seven of the eight states (Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin) that were announced as grant recipients yesterday had submitted very few records of mental health adjudications to the NICS at least through November of 2008, according to an update the Justice Department released to the Brady Campaign in January 2009. Only Florida, which receives a $3,159,228 grant, had submitted a significant number of those records since 2001. The other seven states receiving grants had submitted fewer than 40 records combined as of November 2008.
“We commend the Justice Department for getting critical funds to these states to improve their Brady background record submissions. States overall have done a very poor job of submitting records of dangerously mentally ill persons who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign. “As a result, dangerous people who shouldn’t pass Brady background checks to purchase guns are passing those checks and getting armed.”
Since the Virginia Tech shootings, 12 states – Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have enacted legislation to improve their reporting. Two Governors – Virginia’s Tim Kaine and Maryland’s Martin O’Malley – have signed executive orders to improve their states’ performance on record submission. Six states submitted a large number of records to NICS in either 2007 or 2008: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, and Ohio, as well as Florida.
In 2009 $10 million was appropriated by Congress, but only three states – Nevada, New York and Oregon – qualified for grants, totaling just over $2.5 million.
The NICS Improvement Amendments Act was championed by New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy long before the Virginia Tech tragedy. It gives states funding incentives to improve record submission to the Federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that people prohibited from purchasing firearms will not be able to pass their Brady background checks. After the Virginia Tech tragedy, Representative McCarthy, joined by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), successfully pushed bills through the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support.