(courtesy demandaction.org)

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) press release:

Weeks before the twentieth anniversary of the law that requires gun buyers to pass background checks conducted by licensed firearm dealers, many states are still failing to share data about people who are barred from owning firearms because they are seriously mentally ill with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to the latest information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  These record-sharing failures leave dangerous gaps in the database designed to keep firearms from the wrong hands.  According to the data, fifteen states have reported fewer than 100 records over the last twenty years . . .

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 30, 1993, requires that individuals pass a background check before purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer.  Once a purchaser receives approval from NICS, the sale can proceed – a process that typically takes 90 seconds or less.  But two decades since the system was established, the database at its core still lacks the necessary records to ensure that individuals barred from possessing firearms are blocked.

Today, based on the latest available FBI data, Mayors Against Illegal Guns updated its online Fatal Gaps map of the United States showing how each state is doing, or not doing, its part to report mental health records and make sure guns cannot be purchased by felons, domestic abusers, the seriously mentally ill and others who are prohibited by current law from owning firearms.  Data released last month by the FBI, reflecting record submissions as of May 2013, show that NICS remains dangerously incomplete.  While more than one million additional records were sent to the database between October 31, 2012 and May 31, 2013, 87 percent of that data was submitted by just two states – Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“The Brady Bill was a major step toward keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous individuals, but we still have much more work to do to fulfill its purpose,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Thirty-three Americans are murdered with guns every day, and all too often the people pulling the trigger were able to buy their weapons because of the gaps in our background check system, including critically important missing data. For the background check system to work as the law intends, these gaps must be closed.”

“Twenty years after the signing of the Brady Bill, our background check system continues to allow guns to be sold to individuals who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others,” said Boston Mayor and Coalition Co-Chair Thomas M. Menino. “Every state and federal agency should be doing everything they can to submit mental health records to the system so we can prevent senseless tragedies. The safety of our communities depends on it.”

State Mental Health Record Submissions, By the Numbers

  • ·      The following states have reported less than 100 mental health records to NICS since the inception of the database: Alaska, Maryland, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
  • ·      The largest increases in records per 100,000 residents since October 2012 were in:
  1. 1.     Pennsylvania: +5,154
  2. 2.     New Jersey: +3,385
  3. 3.     Utah: +236
  4. 4.     Florida: +212
  5. 5.     Maine: +141
  • ·      A few states also stood out with large percent increases in mental health record submissions over their previous total:
  1. 1.     Florida: 49,903 à 90,824 (+82%)
  2. 2.     Iowa: 4,639 à 7,434 (+60%)
  3. 3.     Kentucky: 3,224 à 5,158 (+60%)
  4. 4.     Illinois: 25,477 à 37,006 (+45%)
  5. 5.     Minnesota: 7,815 à 10,116 (+29%)

How To Fix NICS: Federal Grants and State Record Reporting Laws

In states that lead the nation in mental health record submissions to NICS, two reforms have been vitally important: federal grants to improve reporting, and state laws that require state agencies to report.  In 2008, Congress created the NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) to provide grants to states to improve collection and submission of relevant records to NICS.  Congress has not fully funded the program and only eighteen states have qualified for grants since it began, but the states that sought and received NARIP grants were more likely to make significant improvements in their record-sharing in subsequent years.

  • ·      Of the top-performing 15 states, nine (60%) received NARIP funding between 2009 and 2012.
  • ·      In contrast, only two of the 15 (13%) poorest performing states received NARIP grants during that period.

In addition, states that have laws or policies that explicitly require or permit state agencies to share relevant mental health records with the NICS database submit records at much higher rates.

  • ·      Of the top 15 performing states, 14 (93%) have enacted laws that authorize the state police, courts, or other agencies to share relevant mental health records with NICS (all except Michigan).
  • ·      Of the bottom 15 performing states, only two (13%) had laws requiring or permitting reporting (Nebraska and North Dakota).

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 1,000 mayors from across the country. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.  The bipartisan coalition, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation’s mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns.  Learn more at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org

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60 Responses to MAIG: Background Checks Suck. Still.

  1. Yeah sure, Massachusetts is a slice of heaven for gun owners. Please. It looks like someone got carried away with their red crayon.

    • I was about to say the same about Maryland. It took 80 gotdam days for my first stripped lower to be approved (my first gun background check ever)

      • I would have to agree. My state of WA is shown as “best”, but we have very lax rules on everything including background checks – private sales are A-OK.

        Must just be the states with politicians that MAIG likes.

      • In this one case, I will thank them. Despite the fact that they count to ten bypassing two, this time, they did us a favor.

  2. Have these clowns not heard of Doctor-Patient confidentiality? Healthcare records, all records, should be closed to any government use.

      • That’s the underlying reason behind Obama care. All your info in the governments grubby little database to be accessible by all alphabet soup groups.

        • So really, all they are doing is encouraging ill people not to see doctors. I know I would not tell my doctor anything if I thought it would be kept in a government record somewhere. Great job O’bung’hole.

        • The right to remain silent now applies to health care…

          Doctor: “Tell me where it hurts.”
          Patient: “Am I being detained?”

    • Involuntary detention reports (a 5150 in California) is a mandatory report to law enforcement. It does not contain a diagnosis; rather it is simply a statement that there is probable cause to believe that a person is a danger to himself or others–and it can be filled out by a cop, a first responder, or a nurse. They are generally NOT filled out by doctors–they are to serve as the basis for requiring an examination by a licensed health care provider within a specified period of time (72 hours in California, 4 hours in Virginia). They do not constitute an actual “admission” to a health facility. They are not therefore within the scope of HIPPA. Typically, such a detention will result in a temporary revocation of 2A rights, while an actual involuntary admission for treatment results in a lifetime ban (but is also subject to an adjudication of the existence of a mental defect or disease). Strangely enough, a voluntary admission has no impact on gun rights at all. The logic of this difference escapes me.

  3. Didn’t Montana file an injunction or something of the sort a few years ago that bypassed interstate commerce on firearms and thus mandated that firearms made in Montana, sold in Montana, and bought by Montana residents were not required to fill out 4473s? I imagine that just makes them so mad they could sh*t themselves.

  4. Every day, 5 Americans are murdered with knives. Any person can walk into Walmart, Shop-Rite, or any other number of discount stores, and with no background check whatsoever purchase as many of these dangerous weapons as they want. Some are even packaged in multiple sets! There are more measures in place to prevent the illegal use of cold medicine than there are to prevent the illegal use of knives. Background checks for ALL knife sales immediately!

    • We should write a law that limit knife blocks or knife racks to five knives or less. I mean really, who needs more than five knives in the kitchen! Who do you think you are, a professional chef or something?

    • NYS tried to expand the Sullivan Act to include knives in the 60s. Didn’t pass a reality check then. It was the first letter I ever wrote to my legislator critters. Don’t give the psychotic grabbers any more bright ideas.

  5. Here’s a better idea. A map which asks: Can Dangerous Felons Acquire Gun in Your State? And the whole United States dark red.

    They present one half of the argument “bad people buy guns because of lax laws” but they never offer even a shred of proof that tightening those laws will stop those people from getting a gun, or if not getting a gun, then committing murder by some other method. Because that proof does not exist.

  6. So *these* laws still need some work to be effective but *these new and improved* laws over here need to be added immediately because guns!

  7. So, zero murders happen in the yellow states, right?

    I’m sure Detroit is a peaceful place, being in a “Best Performing” state and all…

  8. Bloomer wants to essentially make preemptive arrests confiscations etc. That is the only way you can intercept a person that has no record of criminal history. He could set an example by have his own fat butt arrested for things he is thinking that may be illegal.

  9. Every day 33 Americans are murdered by firearms. Most of those were gang/drug related, most of the weapons were bought legally and then handed off to a criminal through a straw purchase.

    Background checks won’t do anything to stop this.

    • I was just going to point this out. According to the CDC of the people murdered with guns 80% are gang-related. So, of those 33 more than 26 are people who, frankly, I’m more than happy to have at room temperature.

    • Isn’t the real question, how many of those 33 are murdered by the mentally ill? The fact is most mentally ill who are sufficiently disordered to come to the attention of the authorities on an involuntary detention are nonviolent (and often suicidal). The people we REALLY have to worry about are the sociopathic personalities that have no conscience, and who have no difficulty with logic or mentation, and are therefore unlikely to come to the attention of the authorities unless they commit a violent crime–and they will be convicted of the crime, not “detained” for their underlying mental disease.

  10. Because Wyoming, Montana, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, The Dakotas, Nebraska and Alaska are veritable HOTBEDS of criminal activity.

    What have TX and PA done to prevent straw purchases? How are they quantifying this?

    • Based on the text, it appears to be an indication of the forwarding of information regarding adjudication of mental instability or involuntary commitment to databases, and not anything specifically background check related. I live in Texas, and having Texas appear as a best performing state on any pro-gun control map is deeply disturbing. But it is simply a measure of ability to get computers to behave.

  11. Say what you want to about the MAIG drones, but they’re right about this problem.

    Unfortuantely, like crooked New York politicians, there is no legal solution to this matter either.See, every day thousands of people across America break the law and acquire domestic restraining orders.Just who does Bloomberg think will be able to process the records into NICS?

    Law Enforcement?Officers need to be on the street, not in some office with a pile of warrants and a jammed fax machine.If a small or medium sized town has ten officers on duty but 20,000 people in population, there’s no mathematical way DV and warrant info can be processed timely while still keeping officers on patrol.There ain’t enough bodies, period.

    Courts?You mean those folks who already have to keep vital case information straight, and frequently make errors in that task?

    What would have to happen to ensure records were added in a timely fashion ,effectively, is the creation of the largest Kafkaesque bureaucracy ever conceived by the United States. Wed need some imaginary agency (call it the Ministry of Truth) with a staff in the hundreds of millions, posted in every state , with sworn LE authority -necessary due to privacy laws and legal case file access.Their only jobs , all the time ,would be entering in disqualifying information.

    Of course , such an obscene creation is exactly what Bloomberg and his cronies want.

  12. How did Maryland get the darkest color?

    We have a notoriously time-consuming background check process that supposedly checks *16* different databases. The check is supposed to be complete in a week – but often takes longer. A co-worker’s wife ordered a .22LR handgun this past January. It didn’t show up at the dealer until June – which is when the paperwork started (yup, they won’t start paperwork until the dealer has the gun and the serial number is known). Her background check finally finished up in September.

    I guess MAIG doesn’t like what MD does with 3-ish months worth of background checks…

  13. “many states are still failing to share data about people who are barred from owning firearms because they are seriously mentally ill with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System”

    I know that NICS makes me feel ill, although not mentally, more like sick to my stomach.

  14. For a best performing state, I sure do know a lot of people who have been shot in Delaware. I know or know someone who is closely related to at least 3 people who have been shot and in the last eight months, two of them are dead as a result. There have been many more than that, people I had no direct connection to.

    All of these people were shot by black gang bangers with illegal firearms. Two of the ones I knew of directly were involved with drug dealing themselves, the other was working in a store that got robbed and he resisted. The only one who survived was black himself, he got “creased” in a machismo driven shoot out he wanted no part of.

    This push is not about reducing violence, but expanding government control over our lives and health. Gangsters will be gangsters no matter what happens and they are the ones doing all the real shooting, because they want to get rich or die trying.

  15. The big problem here is that the mental health reporting requirement isn’t to weed out insane people its to weed out signifigant portions of our population that see a mental health professional for temperary problems like grief counseling, deprssion etc. If you have been treated for anything by a mental health profressional you are immediately restricted for life from owning a fire arm.

    These people are a bunch of Do Gooders and Do Gooders NEVER EVER Do Good.

  16. My biggest concern is how do you get off the NICS registry if falsely or maliciously added by some physician or clerk? NICS has an appeal form; however, several of the people that have talked to me about their appeal process have indicated that they had to hire a lawyer and it took from $4,000 – $6,000 in legal fees and almost a year to get their name cleared.

  17. Several years ago I went to the emergency room for severe shortness of breath following abdominal surgery. The ER physician diagnosed a blood clot in my lung and even showed me the CT scan that showed the clot. The ER physician prescribed medication to dissolve the clot and a few days later I was discharged from the hospital and declared cured.

    On the second day of my hospital stay another physician came in to do a daily check and during the conversation she asked me what I did for a living. I said that I was a gunsmith and immediately her attitude changed from a friendly manner into one of total disgust. A little while later the nurse came in with new medication and indicated that it had been prescribed by this physician for my seizures. When I refused the medication saying that I never have had a seizure the nurse left and a few minutes later I was visited by the hospital’s legal counsel who said that I did not have the right to refuse the medication and that I would be restrained if I did not take the medication voluntarily.

    I knew that a diagnosis of seizures in Texas automatically has your drivers license revoked plus any guns you may poses are confiscated (often without court order) as soon as the LEOs are notified of the diagnosis.

    I immediately called my lawyer, before the goons arrived to strap me down, and told him of the situation.

    When the hospital goons, physician, and legal counsel came in to give me the new medication I had my lawyer on speaker phone and he had to threaten them with legal action if they gave me the shot. Fortunately, his bravado was enough to make them hold off until he could get there with his own consulting physician.

    Both the doctor and the hospital refused to remove the diagnosis until he filed a malpractice lawsuit a few days later.

    After they finally dropped the false diagnosis my lawyer filed a separate lawsuit against her for malpractice for knowingly making a false diagnosis, knowlingly prescribing un-needed medication, and falsely notifying the State Police and LEOs of the diagnosis. In the 4 months until the trial I was without my driver’s license and my weapons. Fortunately, thanks to my lawyer, the court allowed me to transfer custody of my weapons and ammunition to my lawyer for safe keeping instead of allowing them to fall into the LEO’s black hole.

    Also, most fortunately, was that the false diagnosis did not reach NICS because of its deplorable condition.

    The end result was that after an 8 month nightmare the hospital and the physician paid for my $80,000+ in legal fees plus my $40,000 loss in business and the physician had her physician’s license in Texas revoked. Sadly, I heard just recently that she’s now doing the same thing to people in upper New York state.

    • Good Lord!! I live in Upstate New York. If you can’t mention her name can you at least give a more precise location. Our local hospital is always looking for doctors. Living in New York, you are automatically presumed to be crazy so she would have a field day.

      As an aside, my personal physician has a couple of examination rooms. Each has a computer screen that runs a slide show when not being used. One of the screens has some nice photos of flowers and local landscapes. The other has photos of him and his wife on a caribou hunt, complete with helicopter and dead caribou with propped up rifles, about 1000 miles north of Bumfvck, Saskatchewan. He also turkey hunts and keeps bees. Cool guy.

      • I would love to name her and the city she is currently working in; however, under Texas law I would then be classified as a Slanderer and could be prosecuted. On the other hand, if a gutsy Reporter would file a Open Records Act request and build a verifiable story about the incident then it would be a “News” article. I talked to several local TV consumer reporters and they all said they wouldn’t touch the story because her father is a “big money political supporter” in Washington, D.C. I’m sure you can guess which side he’s on.

        Just make sure that when you go to your doctor or to the hospital for a problem, you get a written confirmation of the medical diagnosis and keep it on file in multiple places. It will also help you fight the insurance companies should they refuse to pay the claim.

        Two weeks after I left the hospital my home was broken into and the only thing taken was my medical records paper file. Also, my lawyer found my Emergency Room chart diagnosis had been changed to seizures. That chart and the papers given to me by the ER staff when I was transferred from the ER and admitted to the hospital didn’t match so my lawyer was able to also include medical records tampering in the case. The court ordered the ER physician to re-do the ER chart from the copies that I received. It was later determined the ER physician was not involved in the records tampering.

        Fortunately, I scan all of my bills, home records, personal records, and medical documents and keep digital copies in multiple safe locations; including an off-site location.

        Personally, I feel that I was targeted, simply because I am a gunsmith, by a trusted physician simply because she was adamantly ant-gun/2A. During one of her visits she even tried to lecture me on how 2A was no longer relevant and how the legal system had nullified it to the point that 2A was no longer legally part of The Constitution.

        When she took the stand to testify in court her whole argument was The Constitution was no longer the legal basis for laws in America and physicians had the right and duty to declare anyone involved with guns to be a danger to society. Unfortunately, the judge stop short of sending her for a psychiatric evaluation.

        • Man am I sorry you had to go through that. Unfortunately this doctor got off for what she did. She’s obviously mentally ill. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  18. Gee ,sure funny how New York and Mass have by far,the worst gun crimes in the country.Every state that professes ‘common sense’gun control have more murder per capita than states that allow conceal carry.But again MAIG,MDA, are not interested in facts,unless they made them up.

  19. I used to live in MA.
    Since MA’s version of the AWB was passed in 1998, we’ve seen a nearly 200% increase in violent crime.
    MA has its own version of NICS that is updated daily and will flag you the day after you’re put on the “prohibited persons” list, unlike NICS. Clearly, even with a background check systems better than NICS and a “May Issue” state, criminals still get guns illegally. MA legislators are finishing up the last of five hearings on a slate of proposed gun control laws spurred by Sandy Hook. There are approximately 256,000 LTC A holders in MA (this does not include Class B, C, and D permits which are non LTC) spread throughout a state of just over 6.5 million; there used to be 1.2 million active total permits in MA before they revoked lifetime firearms licenses, that is roughly an 82% decrease. MA LTC A permit holders dropped from 330,000 in 2001 to near the present number in 2007; clearly the POTG in MA are fighting an uphill battle with little chance to affect change in the state and may soon become extinct, considering the downward trend in permits.

  20. How To Fix NICS: Federal Grants
    I knew it! Maybe Bloomberg should supply the cash. Put his money where his mouth is…

  21. I don’t know what to say about this stupid map or MAIG. I’m a little confused here though. It looks like MAIG is against “Dangerous people” Why isn’t the name of their organization MADP (Mayors against dangerous people) instead of “Mayors against illegal guns” These days the “illegal” part in MAIG seems to be any gun, gun type, or accessory they can make illegal. If they are against dangerous people why don’t they pursue them instead of everyone’s guns. Or wait… could it be they don’t actually care about criminals or dangerous people? Maybe they just want the absence of guns.

    • Most of the gun crime and killings in America are done by gangs in Americas inner cities. Usually shooting each other. In Maryland almost all of the gun crimes are committed in Inner City Baltimore so in response the politicians have basically outlawed everyone in the states right to own a firearm. The law was obviously written by clueless democrats. Example you cant buy, own or sell an M&P 9’s and .45’s but not .40’s. WTF The whole law is full of things even more stupid. Its not meant to control crime its meant to subjugate the p opulace

  22. Background checks. 0.8 percent of all gun crimes are committed by guns bought in gun shows. The 99.2 are from illegal or by a relative. The do gooders are worried about one person involved or killed. And the hell with the 99.2. Diane Fienstien senator from Cal. Carries a gun and is one of the biggest anti gun advocate. I ask my senator in Fl. If she had a background check. No answer yet

    • Fog, When dealing with irrational people don’t confuse the issue with facts. It makes them even more crazy and they might pull out their illegally owned gun and shoot you for not agreeing with it.

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