On Sunday, President Obama penned an op-ed in a Tucson, Ariz., newspaper calling for improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Mr. Obama tried to reassure gun owners that “commonsense” gun control does not mean “confiscation.” Mr. Obama’s op-ed was short on specifics. Members of the firearms industry supported instant background checks long before the Brady bill was introduced.
Our industry has consistently supported making improvements to the NICS system to increase its accuracy so licensed firearms retailers do not unwittingly sell a firearm to a prohibited person. For example, NSSF supported legislation to improve state reporting of mental-health records to NICS prior to the Virginia Tech tragedy.
While the recent incident in Tucson was not caused by the lack of any gun-control law but by a breakdown in our nation’s mental health system, NSSF remains supportive of making further enhancements to the current system, provided the Second Amendment and privacy rights of law-abiding Americans are fully respected.