Below The Radar: The NICS Review Act

Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The National Instant Check System has been a point of contention among Second Amendment supporters since the passage of the Brady Act in 1993. Some view it as an infringement and a “compromise.” Others viewed it as averting a far worse situation.

It goes without saying that at a bare minimum, the system clearly needs fixes, and the Firearm Due Process Protection Act is something that should be passed as soon as possible. But anti-Second Amendment extremists have hated the National Instant Check System, too. Why?

Because, despite claims they made at the time, it was never about background checks. At a minimum, many anti-Second Amendment extremists ultimately want a “needs-based” licensing scheme. In other words, you would need to prove to the government that you needed to own a certain gun. At which point, they would deign to grant you the license to own said firearm.

So, they have their own “fixes” in mind for NICS, and they are not along the lines Second Amendment supporters would like. One of those proposing a “NICS fix” that makes things worse is Representative Carolyn Maloney, who’s introduced HR 821, the NICS Review Act.

The NICS Review Act is intended to start the process of turning NICS into a registration system. Under current law, information on transactions that have not been denied is to be destroyed within 24 hours. The intent is to preserve the privacy of Americans who choose to exercise a constitutional right. Maloney has talked about privacy before and it has been a big deal for her on other issues.

But with the NICS Review Act, she wants the FBI to hold on to data about non-denied firearms transactions for at least 90 days. That is a huge change on two counts. One, the FBI can retain the records for much longer, almost three months. That’s bad enough for all sorts of mischief, and Maloney’s long anti-Second Amendment track record points to a desire to at least enable mischief targeting our rights.

But the real slick move on Maloney’s part is that she has now made the 90-day period a floor, instead of a limit. In short, the FBI could retain the records as long as they want. This makes her bill extremely dangerous, and it is an excellent tactical move on her part. She can paint this as a minor bill, and paint opposition to it as “those Second Amendment types being unreasonable.” But combine that change with “universal background checks” and a little bad faith, and all of a sudden, you now can create a national registry of firearms transactions with the stroke of an anti-Second Amendment president’s pen.

Second Amendment supporters need to contact their Representative and Senators to politely urge that they oppose this bill. They also need to take the time and use this bill to explain to their fellow Americans why anti-Second Amendment extremists aren’t really proposing “reasonable” solutions.



About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Stag
Stag
13 days ago

The only way to fix NICS is to abolish it.

Tionico
Tionico
13 days ago

There is only one real fix for NICS. That would be to completely eliminate the entire page where the information on what is being purchased is supplied. This thing is supposed to be a BUYER backgound check to make sure purchaser is not a prohibited person. Once that is determined to be the case, the information on WHAT he is intending to purchase is meaningless. Eliminate it. Next “fix” is to take it out of the hands of the Feds to deploy the system for each purchase. Yes, maintain the records/database. But dealers or anyone else should be able to… Read more »

hippybiker
hippybiker
13 days ago

Maloney Baloney = Another Cant Understand Normal Thinker!

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
13 days ago

What some folks fail to realize is it’s bad enough for NICS to run a check on you when you purchase a firearm, it doesn’t stop there, as the dealer must retain their copy of the purchase or denial for years.
The FBI or ATF can see those records anytime they so demand and if the dealer doesn’t have them they become liable and can lose their FFL.
Big brother has his hand in your life when he shouldn’t, who really works for who.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
13 days ago

FOPA already forbids a registration system for guns and gun owners. Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 “No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing… Read more »

Nurph
Nurph
13 days ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

That’s never stopped anti-gunners from writing, passing, and “enacting” illegal laws in the first place. They do whatever they feel like doing & “the right” just sits back & does nothing. THAT is the issue that has to change!

Jay Dee
Jay Dee
13 days ago

The law requires dealers to run background checks but does it say that dealers required to use a government run system? The law already allows some states to have state run background checks in lieu of the federal NICS system. Would a privately run version of BIDS administered by the credit reporting agencies fulfill the requirements for a background check?

Tionico
Tionico
13 days ago
Reply to  Jay Dee

Except I have a strong dustruct of the “fair” credit reporting agencies based on past experience with them. Getting anything corrected just about needs at act of Congress, they ALWAYS side with the reporting entity, and really don’t give a rip about their REAL customers, we out here who are dependent upon their “services” (thing: getting a milk cow “serviced”)

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
14 days ago

For those who live in Idaho

James Risch
Mike Crapo
Mike Simpson
Russ Fulcher