Money For ‘Bolstering’ NICS Background Checks Included In New GOP COVID/Stimulus Bill

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Money For ‘Bolstering’ NICS Background Checks Included In New GOP COVID/Stimulus Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.-( A new stimulus bill is making its way through the halls of Congress, and with a $1200 check, gun owners are getting another unwelcome surprise.

The Republican-led Senate HEALS act contains two particular spending section that is concerning to gun rights activists.

The text of the bill reads:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – $1.963 billion. The bill provides $1.963 billion to the FBI, for personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, testing capacity, the Criminal Justice
Information Services (CJIS), and construction. Funds are also provided to bolster the capacity of
CJIS’ National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – $36.4 million. The bill
provides $36.4 million to ATF, for personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, testing
capacity, and remote workforce infrastructure. Funds are also provided to support ATF’s
responsibilities with respect to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
and the transfer of firearms.

Hidden in the language in the bill is the ability to use government COVID-19 funding to bolster the capacity of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Licensed firearms dealers must perform background checks on all customers they are transferring a gun to during a sale. The bill allocates $1.963 billion for the FBI to use for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies in addition to bolstering NICS capabilities. The bill is vague as to how much of the money the FBI can use for NICS.

The bill also doesn’t make it clear what it means by bolstering the capacity of NICS. Gun rights activists are concerned about what the FBI will do to NICS with the increased COVID-19 funding. The best-case scenario would be that the FBI fixes their system to make it truly instants for all gun buyers and to prevent outages like the NICS breakdown from last week. The worst-case scenario is more evasive background checks and more false positives in NICS.

The HEALS Act also allocates $36.4 million to the ATF for much of the same things with the addition of remote work infrastructure. It also gives the ATF money to spend on NICS. This allocation is confusing to firearms activists because NICS is not a function of the ATF. The FBI and not the ATF run NICS. It doesn’t make sense for Congress to give the ATF money for the background check system.

The bill also lets the ATF use the money for the investigation of the transfer of firearms. Gun rights activists could see the ATF abusing the money to further infringe on the rights of gun owners. There is a history of mistrust between gun owners and the ATF because of the agency changing of interpretation of statues to fit their pre-determined result.

It isn’t clear why so-called “pro-gun” Republicans would include increased funding for gun control measures that the government has in place. Some theorize that Republicans added bolstering NICS to the bill to appease Democrats. Others believe that the Republicans in power think that the two law enforcement agencies will not abuse these funds. Whatever the reason, it looks like there is a good chance of Congress, including these provisions in the final bill that will pass.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC, and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast, which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement, including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at

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Patrick Roberts

I believe that NICS is as unconstitutional as it gets, make no mistake if that. The failings of the NCIS system’s ability to handle the increased volume from COVID-19 panic buys and further panic buys spurred by it being an election year and the social unrest have kept guns out of the hands of people that were delayed for whatever reason. Not only did the NSSF recommend waiting till the date NCIS gives them (even if it is past the 3-day deadline) but worse yet, some retailers actually listened. Personally, I would like to see the NCIS system defunded and… Read more »


“Hell, I would love to see effort put into expediting NFA paperwork and the Brady Bill dismantled. (All gun laws are still unconstitutional, don’t think I feel differently).”

How about eliminating NFA paperwork by ending the NFA?


Last edited 2 years ago by estim8ing
Green Mtn. Boy

As all gun control is un Constitutional,zero money is required for the infringements.


“Shall NOT be infringed” what do you think that means?


“It isn’t clear why so-called “pro-gun” Republicans would include increased funding for gun control measures that the government has in place.”

Clear to me. The GOP is a coalition of clowns and cowards.


They’ve been doing it for decades. Republicans are not pro-2A. Some may be pro-gun but very, VERY few are pro-2A and there is a big difference. Since my birth in 83, more arms control legislation has been enacted by Republicans at the federal level by than by Democrats. Reagan gave us the Hughes Amendment, Bush gave us import bans, and Trump has given us the bumpstock ban, FixNICS, and he’s set to sign the NDAA which includes even more infringement via red flag laws. Gun owner are nothing more than a voting block that Republicans pander to. Not unlike Democrats… Read more »




This is why the President needs the Power Of Line Item Veto then they could get it to go where it should go, without all of the pet projects that all parties like to put on each bill!!!!!!!!!!!!


Waiting patiently for “ATF found defunct by Patriotism.” Oh, to live that long…

Mystic Wolf

Yeah leave to the satan worshipping DEMONcrats to pull something like this, they will do anything to take our guns from us and many times by force.


I guess you missed the part where it says it’s a Republican bill being put forth by the Republican controlled Senate. Republicans are not pro-2A.


Left or Right, either way it is still a just boot on our throats.


PLZ help to fix this. NICS& Lautenberg acts RETROACTIVELY adding stronger sentence to prior misd, without INFORMING them, with no DUE PROCESS, violating RULE OF LAW with a LIFETIME INFRINGEMENT BAN of #2a. NICS is a RETROACTIVE DBL JEOPARDY & EX POST FACTO UNCONSTITUTIONAL law.


The BIGGEST —– BOONDOGGLE with all this funding is: The funds are going to a Bureaucracy that was created ILLEGALLY by the IRS as a fund generating department. the ‘atf’ was NEVER established nor voted on by CONGRESS. The ‘atf’ bureaucracy employees are NOT voted into office. They cannot be VOTED OUT. They are appointed. Congress IS the only body in OUR government that can form ELECTED departments that require funding!!!!!