Mayors Against Illegal Guns Applauds $55 Million in Funding to Improve Reporting to National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Jul 11, 2013
Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chairs Michael R. Bloomberg and Thomas M. Menino released the following statements in response to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science decision to increase funding to $55 million for state grants to improve data submissions to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In May, more than 950 mayors from the bipartisan national coalition signed a letter urging the Appropriations Committee to make increasing resources for the NICS system a top priority.
Statement of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Frank Wolf and Ranking Member Chaka Fattah, this bill includes a substantial increase in funding for state grant programs to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS). The NICS system is crucial to our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
“As of last October, nineteen states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the system. Analysis by Mayors Against Illegal Guns has found that states that received grants to improve NICS submissions substantially increased their rate of mental health record sharing. Chairman Wolf and Ranking Member Fattah’s decision to allocate $55 million to improving the system is a significant step forward in our efforts to improve the integrity of the NICS system.”
Statement of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
“I applaud the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on the increased funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) state grant program. This funding represents more resources dedicated to the program than has been appropriated in the previous four years combined. It also shows an improved dedication to creating safer communities and supporting the law enforcement agencies that work hard everyday to fight gun-related crime.
“Although we are pleased that the legislation increases funding for the NICS grant program, our coalition remains concerned that the bill maintains policy riders which greatly restrict the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) enforcement authority. Among other things, these riders restrict proper oversight of gun dealers and limit the agency from effectively using crime gun data. The legislation would also make two of these riders permanent, further limiting ATF’s ability to properly oversee the import and export of certain firearms and parts.
“We will continue to support the lifting of these and other restrictions so this federal law enforcement agency can more effectively keep our communities safe.”