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« H.R. 38 The Details, cont'd. | Main | Fix NICS, Cont'd. »

Fix NICS (formerly H.R. 4477)

National Carry (HR 38) now includes "Fix NICS"

It doesn't really fix anything, if "fix" means reduce crime.

Maybe just, "the fix is in" since it guarantees an increase in infringements.

H.R. 38, TITLE II -- Fix NICS Act*

Added to the bill, page after page establishes conditions that must be met by federal agencies and authorities, to pour names into the NICS system, so agencies can avoid punishment. The rapid growth of NICS becomes another holy grail of the gun-ban movement, an ongoing infringement steamroller with no stop in sight.

Departments and entire agencies will be rated and scored based on how many records they add, why they did or did not add more records, written progress reports must be submitted by category of denials, including some new undefined ones. Efforts to monitor compliance and correct reporting failures are included. The AG must establish plans to “ensure maximum coordination and automated reporting,” with benchmarks. Meeting the goals will consume vast resources and become more important than fighting crime or defending rights and due process.

Punishment

Literally using humiliation as a tool to achieve cooperation, the AG is required to publish the names of agencies that are out of compliance, fail to report adequately, don’t meet goals, have reporting failures or inaccuracies, list their compliance costs and needs assessments, estimate compliance dates and more. Agencies will be hard pressed to comply, fudge reports or be ridiculed with multiple web postings by name and reports to congressional committees for multiple types of failures. Reasons for the failures with breakouts by department are included. I haven’t seen this tactic in any other federal gun law, and it’s applied against government, but its goal is to increase control over you.

Penalties include no eligibility for bonus pay for political appointees (staff gets paid). It’s not clear if they get the money as back pay after they get back in line, a common and detestable practice that eviscerates the whole idea of penalty. It should be made explicit. Agencies also lose their priority for certain grant money. Vast sums remain available to help them get into compliance.

* THIS IS IMPORTANT. Every two years the AG must assess whether Fix NICS has “resulted in improvements in the system established under this section.” Improvements measured how? It’s not defined.

Based on history, government will rate “improvement” by the speed and growth of the NICS database, number of people denied firearm sales regardless of legitimacy (like now, 99% false positives), increased reasons for denial and similar. TRUE improvement would be decreases in crime, proven disarmament of criminals, arrests of hardened criminals attempting retail purchases, limited false denials, establishment of due process for denials and similar. The system is not set up to do this. It would typically fail by such measurement. There is no desire, funding or inclination to make NICS do these highly desirable things (fight crime). Real improvement, measured this way is not in the game plan. Improvement should be defined as reducing crime and included.

Dangerous new undefined term introduced

Domestic violence “records”

A new record collection, funded for and included in the agency humiliation and punishment guidelines, is “domestic violence records.” This is not “misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence” or anything similar, which creates a statutory ban on gun ownership (problematic on its own). Funding is provided to improve efforts to identify and upload such records. The records go to NARIP, the NICS Act Record Improvement Program. Look it up, let me know what it is, and see if it means these undefined files go directly to NICS or not.

Nearly three pages of mind-numbing cross-referenced spending and meddling with existing laws have not been checked by me. Who knows what that might include, such as “increased efforts to pre-validate the contents of those records to expedite eligibility determinations” and “measures and resources necessary to establish and achieve compliance with an implementation plan under section 107 of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007...” Or this one: “(A) by striking “the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 14601)” and inserting “section 102 of the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (34 U.S.C. 40301)” Three pages worth. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/38/all-info [cont'd.]

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  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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