The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on concealed carry-reciprocity bill and gun back check fix bills this week, sources are saying on or after Wednesday.
The concealed carry-reciprocity ( HR 38) and the gun background check bill, known as Fix NCIS ( HR 4477), have been merged. A copy of the merged bill can be read here. Rep. Dina Titus (D., Nev.) proposed an amendment that would strip concealed carry Reciprocity language from the combined bill. However, the Republican-controlled committee is likely to defeat the bill and move to the House floor for a vote.
The purpose of Fix NICS bill is to correct underreporting or disqualifying records to the FBI, so firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands. The Fix NICS bill would also implement a semi-annual reporting requirement for all military branches to tell Congress and the public how reporting is compiled. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (HR 38) allows anyone with a valid concealed-carry permit to transport firearms into other states that allow for concealed-carry permits.
Handel’s amendment requires the U.S. Attorney General to report to Congress on the use of bump stocks in the commission of criminal activity. Additionally, the amendment directs the Attorney General to provide a legal opinion on whether federal law already allows enhanced sentencing for criminals using bump stocks.
Four additional amendments are expected to be added to the Fix NCIS bill. These amendments have not been made public at this time. Most pro-gun organizations believe it will strengthen the language of the bill, according to Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), which has over 650,000 members nationwide. Congress is expected to adopt amendments that will cut down on false positives in the background check database and the amendments make other changes to prevent unwarranted denials.
Amendment 1 – Would require that NICS use all descriptors provided in conducting background checks which is expected to limit too many people from getting denied.
Amendment 2 – Would add language requiring the US Attorney General to take such actions as may be necessary, including withholding funds, to prevent a State imposing regulations that result in a Federal Firearms Licensee charging for a background check pursuant to section 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, and to penalize a State that does so.
Amendment 3 – Would require the US Attorney General to annually submit a written report to Congress that contains a detailed review of all background checks conducted by the NICS system where people were initially denied from acquiring a firearm and then also those whose cases were deemed not eligible for prosecution. This includes a review of the process for making the determinations, each step included in that process, and a statistical analysis of the age, race, gender, and national origin of, or any other identifying information provided on a Firearm Transfer Record form (ATF Form 4473) about, the persons about whom the erroneous determinations were made.
Amendment 4 – Would require that all the numbers be disaggregated by age, race, and gender. This amendment is expected to stop false positive identification of minorities according to CCRKBA.
Rep. John Culberson (R., Texas), who introduced the Fix NICS Act, said it would address the problems in the system and save lives. Senator John Cornyn (R – Texas) has filed legislation in the Senate is a copycat bill of the Fix NICS bill.
The Fix NICS language in the new bill is expected to send $625 million to the states to expand the National Background Check Database.