(National Sentinel)Â Gun Control: Republican senators surprised many of their constituents on Thursday when they sided with Democrats on a bill that would somehow strengthen existing gun background check laws following the Texas church shootings earlier this month.
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Fox NICS Act compelling federal and state officials to report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The bill comes after
Devin Patrick Kelly, the gunman who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas, had been court-martialed in the Air Force on a domestic violence conviction in 2012.
By law, the Air Force was required to report that court-martial and conviction to the FBI, but failed to do so, thus allowing him to dodge background checks and purchase several firearms over the course of a couple of years.
Critics of the new legislation say even if it was already in place, it, too, would not have stopped the shootings because the problem isn’t the law, it was that Kelly’s conviction was simply not reported.
“For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in a statement.
“Under the bill, federal agencies and state[s] would be required to create implementation plans focused on uploading all information that would prohibit a person from buying a gun under current law to the background check system,”Â Circa News reported.
“Agencies that fail to upload relevant background records would face consequences under the bill. For example, political appointees at agencies that fail to comply would be prohibited from receiving any bonus pay,” the news site said.
Also, the legislation rewards states that comply with requirements by giving them preference for federal grants and additional incentives.
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In addition, the legislation funds more federal bureaucracy via the creation of a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative.
Critics say they don’t believe the new incentives are going to make much of an impact, and that the problem of non-reporting will remain.
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