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An Updated Background Check System Will Help Prevent Gun Violence Guns and Crime, 2012 Formed in 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a coalition of over 550 mayors who support reforms to fight illegal gun trafficking and gun violence in the United States, while still respecting the Second Amendment. The background check system designed by Congress in 1993 to prohibit dangerous people from purchasing guns is not working effectively. But with the enforcement of critical new regulations, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) could be an effective tool in preventing gun violence. One such regulation would require the names of all people known to be dangerous or criminal be registered in the NICS database, and those …show more content…

Revised legislation would strengthen the NICS system in six ways: Funding: Fully fund the NICS Improvement Amendments Act to help agencies and states cover the costs of gathering records and making them electronically available to the FBI. The legislation, enacted in 2008, is failing to achieve its goals in part because Congress has supplied only 5.3% of the authorized amount from Fiscal Year 2009 through Fiscal Year 2011. That money was supposed to be available to states to help cover the cost of gathering and supplying records. The revised law would guarantee full funding to states and federal agencies to comply with reporting requirements to the NICS database. Penalties: Establish tougher penalties for states that do not comply with the law by cutting more of their Justice Department funding. The NICS Improvement Amendments Act establishes only minor penalties for non-compliance. It sets out a timeline, and in each year starting in Fiscal Year 2011 states are required to turn over a target percentage of the records they have naming people who should not be allowed to buy guns under federal law. If they do not comply, they could face cuts to a portion of their federal justice assistance funding. The potential cuts are small, however: only 3% to 5% of a single grant (Byrne Justice Assistance Grants or JAG), which provides about $300 million a year nationwide to states. Furthermore, DOJ [Department of Justice] has almost total discretion to reduce or

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