U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today reintroduced the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2019, a bill to preserve law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights, while putting in place requirements to ensure relevant agencies and institutions accurately submit records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in order to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms.
"Communities in Texas and across the nation have seen the face of evil through gun violence as a result of madmen and deranged criminals," Sen. Cruz said. "Following the horrific shooting at Santa Fe High School last year, I visited with victims and their families. They expressed that restricting law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights was not the answer to our mass shooting epidemic, but rather preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands and stopping criminals and madmen from getting guns is what we need to do. I'm grateful for Sen. Chuck Grassley's partnership on this crucial bill, as I believe it will help save lives and prevent future tragedies from happening in Texas and our country. Our bill seeks to increase support for school safety funding, ensure agencies accurately submit records to the NICS, and develop a federal task force to prosecute criminals who illegally purchase a firearm. I urge my Senate colleagues to take a stand with the people of our country and to vote in support of this legislation to stop criminals from getting guns once and for all."
"We have seen failures to carry out the existing background check system too many times. This bill will bolster the NICS system in an essential way to improve its ability to prevent future acts of violence. Our bill takes necessary steps to ensure that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not infringed and takes commonsense actions to prioritize school safety, punish and deter bad actors, and improve record submissions to NICS. Senator Cruz and I have worked diligently on this bill in the past, and I look forward to this continued partnership," Sen. Grassley said.
The bill was first introduced as the "Grassley-Cruz" amendment in 2013. The amendment received a positive vote of 52-48 in the Senate, when Republicans were in the minority. The legislation would take important, concrete steps to improve the NICS and bolster alerts to law enforcement. The bill also includes additional grant resources, which can be used to strengthen school safety and security. In March of 2018, Sens. Cruz and Grassley reintroduced this legislation as the "Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2018.'
The Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2019 would:
Improve and reauthorize grants for NICS database;
Increase federal prosecution of gun violence by establishing the Nationwide Project Exile Program and establishing a high-level federal taskforce;
Responsibly addresses gun violence by criminalizing straw purchasing of firearms and gun trafficking;
Protect the Second Amendment rights of members of the armed forces;
Require the Department of Justice to explain to Congress why it has or has not been prosecuting gun cases;
Place limitations on operations like Fast and Furious by DOJ;
Allow firearms dealers to utilize the NICS database to for voluntary background checks of employees;
And allow firearms dealers to access the FBI's National Crime Information Center stolen-gun database to ensure that a firearm is not stolen prior to acquisition.