To: The United States Senate
Support the Fix NICS 2017 Act to Keep Firearms Out of the Hands of Domestic Violence Perpetrators
There is a strong correlation between domestic violence and mass shootings – as evidenced by recent events. Looking at every identifiable mass shooting that has occurred between January 2009 and July 2014, 57 percent of them involved the killing of a family member, or a current or former intimate partner of the shooter (source: Everytown for Gun Safety). Entering domestic violence court records into the background check system is the best way to keep guns out of the hands of convicted abusers.
On Nov. 16, U.S. Senators Cornyn, Murphy, Scott, Blumenthal, Hatch, Feinstein, Heller and Shaheen introduced the Fix NICS Act of 2017 – a crucial piece of legislation that will work to ensure all information is uploaded in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), flagging if a person is prohibited from purchasing firearms. Supporting this bill is critical to protecting our communities and preventing future tragedies.
Why is this important?
The flaw in our nation’s background check system is increasingly evident, as the program is only as good as the information provided to it. When records prohibiting domestic abusers from gun possession are excluded, dangerous individuals are able to obtain guns and do harm to our communities.
The Fix NICS Act will help to save the lives of victims of domestic violence and the communities in which they live, by ensuring that domestic violence records are entered properly and consistently into the background check system, and that federal and state authorities accurately report relevant criminal history records in accordance with existing law.
Specifically, the bill mandates that the number of records being entered (along with the number not being entered) be publicly reported on the U.S. Department of Justice website, informed by Attorney General and Department of Defense input. Federal agencies who fail to properly report records will be penalized, states who improve reporting will be incentivized, and additional federal funding will be directed to accurate reporting.
We urge you to sign this petition in support of this bill, to address a nationwide, systemic problem and ultimately protect women, children and men from future harm.