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Cornyn Responds to Report that Thousands of Required Records Not Properly Uploaded into Background Check System

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WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after CNN reported that in the months following the shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX, the U.S. military added more than 4,000 records that had not been previously uploaded into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS):

“The failure to upload this essential, and required, information in the background check system is simply unacceptable. This only reinforces the need to fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent violent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms.”

In November of last year, Senator Cornyn introduced the Fix NICS Act to ensure federal and state authorities, which includes branches of the military, comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). 

Background on the Fix NICS Act

  • Requires federal agencies and states to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading all information to the background check system showing that a person is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under current law—including measures to verify the accuracy of records.
  • Holds federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system through public reporting and prohibiting bonus pay for political appointees.  
  • Rewards states who comply with their NICS implementation plans through federal grant preferences and incentives, while increasing accountability through public reporting for those who do not comply with their plans.
  • Reauthorizes and improves important law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS.
  • Creates a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing firearms under current law.
  • Provides important technical assistance to federal agencies and states who are working to comply with NICS record-sharing requirements.
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