Capps Applauds Passage of Gun Safety Law

Press Release

Date: June 13, 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Guns

Capps Applauds Passage of Gun Safety Law

Congresswoman Lois Capps applauded today's passage in the House of the McCarthy - Dingell National Instant Criminal Background Check Improvement Act, H.R. 2640. The legislation would enhance the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICBC) in four key ways. The bill would ensure that the provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act are enforced by the states and authorizes $375 million a year for three years to provide grants to states and their courts to import the records of those bared from purchasing a firearm under the 1968 Gun Control Act into the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This would improve the accuracy of the NICS by ensuring that the database has the appropriate records necessary to screen those who would purchase a firearm. The legislation enhances the national background check system in a way that protects the privacy of all records, including mental health records, by prohibiting the use of these records for any purpose outside of NICS.

Improving the NICS database to make it more accurate and complete can help to prevent future gun violence tragedies. Seung Hui Cho, the shooter in the Virginia Tech rampage, had been adjudicated mentally ill; however, the NICS did not have the appropriate records to keep him from buying firearms, which he subsequently did.

"This bill is a good step toward preventing future tragedies involving people who simply should not have guns," said Capps. "It is long past time to enact some smart gun safety legislation to keep our communities safer. No one wants to see another Virginia Tech type tragedy and this bill will help avert one."