Senate Bill Strengthening Background Checks Moves Closer to Reality

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.)


With the recent mass shootings there has been a flurry of proposals in congress for new laws aimed at tightening firearms regulations to try and prevent them in the future. A proposal to ban bump fire stocks gained some support but appears to have stalled out. A proposed reinstatement of the old Assault Weapons Ban is in the hopper but given how disastrously it failed last time that’s very unlikely. One proposal that seems to be gaining momentum is improving the data that goes into the existing NICS background check system.

From NBC:

A bipartisan group of senators are close to a deal on legislation that would improve background checks for gun sales, three Senate sources familiar with the effort said Wednesday.

The bill, crafted by Sens. John Cornyn, R.-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., would incentivize states to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check system to ensure all background check information is uploaded. The bill is expected to come Wednesday evening, with an official announcement Thursday.

The reason why this has a real potential to be enacted is that it doesn’t change any of the existing gun laws. Background checks for gun sales are a reality for firearms purchased through Federal Firearms Licensees, and this bill doesn’t do anything to extend or change those checks. All it does is improve the information being fed into that system.

Gun control activists will cheer because it “does something” to prevent “gun violence.” Gun rights folks will cheer because it is an example of the government doing what they asked, namely enforcing and improving the laws already on the books. It’s a slam dunk.

The variable: Democrats.

Every time a gun bill comes to the floor Democrats have a tendency to treat it like a Christmas tree, hanging every new gun related regulation and restriction their hearts could desire onto it as an amendment. Sometimes its because they see a small opening and want to try and cram as many new regulations through as possible. Other times its because the bill has support from the NRA and Democrats simply can’t stomach the idea of an NRA backed bill actually becoming law. Either way the Democrats have a track record of clutching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

What happens this time is yet to see, but there’s a good chance that this bill might actually pass. Which will be the greatest irony of all — Donald Trump’s administration would have done more to pass gun control legislation in one year than Barack Obama could accomplish in eight years of concerted effort.


  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    NBC is fake news “pushing” an agenda that doesn’t support 2A rights.

    But, call your Senators and jump their a_ _ anyway.

    1. While you are at it, ask them what we are going to do about the botched Saudi assassination intercept resulting in 59 innocent deaths in Vegas.

      1. avatar ad-lib says:

        ah, nothing quite like wildly unsupported conspiracy theories…

        1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

          Now, I don’t have any theories about Vegas, but I must say that the absolute lack of any information means that Michael’s theory is just as likely as anything else. And the fact that the FBI hasn’t made a statement as to motive means they haven’t come up with a story that makes them look good yet.

          We’re being lied to. I don’t know what the truth is, but Las Vegas isn’t about a video, IYKWIM.

    2. avatar Andy says:

      Wow…John Cornyn. Another prick democrat in a republican t-shirt. He is a traitor to his district and to the country.

  2. avatar Shire-man says:

    A bill aimed at encouraging the enforcement of previous bills that have been passed into law.
    Ineffectual government at its best. This would be great if it wasn’t costing money.
    Next up: making murder illegaler.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      It allows the gun controllers to say they’ve done something, while allowing the gun supporters to say they prevented any new gun control. It’s the political holy grail.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        A holy grail? Thanks, but we’ve already got one. It’s very nice.

        1. avatar Morelia says:

          ROFL, I needed that in the middle of a 12hr day on a locked psych unit

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “A holy grail? Thanks, but we’ve already got one. It’s very nice.”

          Oh, you mean *that* grail.

          I’m afraid to say, we “chose… Poorly”. :

        3. avatar Daniel G Dixon says:

          Now go away or I shall taunt you again.😂

    2. avatar George says:

      @Shire-man making murder illegal er. LMAO

  3. avatar neiowa says:

    How you know what follows it a lie –
    1.) “crafted” referring to a bill. Will the NCIS now include all members of the CPUSA/Demtard party?
    2.) Verbal “answer” to your question incudes addressing you by your first name as

  4. avatar Jeff says:

    “Newspapers don’t print the truth. They print what people say.” – Frank Galvin (played by Paul Newman) in the 1982 feature film, “The Verdict”

  5. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    I oppose any legislation, on principle, that infringes on the RTKBA. I oppose collaborating with Liberal Terrorists™ who hide behind the facade of “Democrat”. The ONLY firearms legislation I will ever support is rolling back the unconstitutional infringements already in place. With that said- if this legislation passes, exactly “as-is” without any further mutilation from democrat domestic enemies, I won’t get too upset.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    If you want to know if UBC work look at Illinois. Pretty good except for a certain biggest city in the Midwest. Could it be criminals and crazies are the problem?!? Nah that’s too EZ…

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    ” Either way the Democrats have a track record of clutching defeat out of the jaws of victory.”

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      That got a bitter laugh from me as well.

      Who currently controls both the lower and upper House?

      And the Senate?

      *And* the fvcking White House?

      And what great laws have they passed?

      The last time a political party had that kind of a headlock on power, we got the “Affordable Care act”, that was no where near affordable…

      1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Gorsuch might be it. And might have to be enough. I thank God for him everyday.

        1. avatar mark s. says:

          Don’t count those chickens before they hatch . If the NSA has ANY info on anyone in positions of power that could harm them , well let’s just say ROBERTS .

  8. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Nothing ever passes as-is or as proposed. Once the logs start rolling, the only certainty is that government will spend more of our money, while infringing further on our rights. The precise form this inevitable freedom snatching boondoggle will take, of course, remains to be seen.

    Make no mistake, though, it will happen. For starters, what “incentives” do the feds have in mind for prodding the states into improved NICS reporting? Money? Ahhh….Uncle Sugar opens up another vein to pump in their drug of choice, federal dollars, into compliant, complicit states.

    You think that will only ensure more complete reporting, or might they expand the scope of reporting, too? Maybe it will include anyone who has so much as a warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket. “Fugitive”, anyone?

    Maybe they start turning over records of medicinal marijuana card holders? Use or possession of weed is still unlawful under federal law, regardless of state decriminalization for recreation or medicinal purposes.

    If this bill passes, expect a truckload of unintended (by you, but fully intended by Dems) consequences once it becomes law. Do not support it. Make your elected officials aware of your opposition.

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Unfortunately my senator (I didn’t vote for him) is that POS john cornyn.

      Calling his office will do no good.

      1. avatar rt66paul says:

        Don’t feel so bad. Could you imagine living in Ca all of your life and finding out that you have no representatives that would ever read what you write them?
        And no, I can’t move out.

        1. avatar DoomGuy says:

          It makes me sad that freedom loving people like you are trapped in slave states. I wish I had the money to help people move to states where they’d be more appreciative of their rights and not just elect shills for big business.

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        I’m stuck with Cornyn, too. I’ve never gotten anywhere with him, either. He’s 65, though, and up for re-election in 2020. Does he really want to spend the best years of his golden years sitting in stufft committee meetings and playing that same old stale game of politics?

        Maybe, maybe not. He is Majority Whip now, though. So maybe he’ll give it one more go in hopes of making Majority Leader. McMconnell is 75 and also up for re-election in 2020. Who knows? I’d just like to get another Cruz in there, with perhaps slightly less sharp elbows.

      3. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        Cornyn is one of mine also, No I didn’t vote for the RINO.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Everything you said may happen, but really, read the bill. It is specific about what information is to be included. Cornyn didn’t write it, the NSSF did. It’s the same legislation they’ve been pushing for years.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        So, we are building and strengthening our own cage. Again.

    3. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      This is spot on.

      “…You think that will only ensure more complete reporting, or might they expand the scope of reporting, too? Maybe it will include anyone who has so much as a warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket. “Fugitive”, anyone?””

      Oh, you have an unpaid $500 parking ticket from 1975..sorry you are flagged, we can’t sell to you and we had to notify local law enforcement too.

  9. avatar DoomGuy says:

    I’m so sick of these POS rinos.

    [email protected]& you john cornyn, and no I’m not dignifying that subhuman waste of oxygen by capitalizing his name.

  10. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    If you want to add something to it I would be okay with it’s animal cruelty.

    Someone torturing an animal is not beyond the same cruel acts against people.

    Plus it’s another thing that would have prevented Sutherland Springs shooter from lawfully obtaining a firearm. It stopped him from getting a Texas LTC after all.

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      Remember that laws get twisted. Define “torture of an animal”. The gun grabbers would claim that any one who hunts, or works dogs, for instance, is “torturing animals”. Even using sled dogs is considered wrong by these people.
      It is just like making a law that enhances the jail time if a gun is used. This has been used as a means to a quick guilty plea or misused to get someone who has a gun in the house that did a crime to enter a guilty plea or maybe a zealous prosecutor wants a long term in jail for a first timer that had a fight with someone in his/her home, and because their was a gun on the property, he will spend 30% of his life behind bars.
      Every time they make a law, it morphs into something that can be turned into something else.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Define “murder of a human being”. The NICS 4473 should ask if you’ve ever been, or come in anything more than visual contact with an evil POS (D). With thirteen sheets of paper to fully write out your answer (to make it painful for the POS (D), and those who tolerate communications and physical contact with them, to exercise their right that they’re working so diligently to take away from everyone else).

        Yes. Define “murder of a human being”. If it doesn’t include ABORTION, especially LATE TERM ABORTION then FU you are a POS SICK FING MONSTER. If that innocent life ain’t a person / human being THEN NEITHER FING ARE YOU.

        And non-humans don’t get rights, much less guns.

  11. avatar jwtaylor says:

    So this is the “Fix the NICS” legislation that the NSSF has been pushing for a few years now. It is very much industry drafted legislation, Cornyn’s office, or any other office holder for that matter, didn’t write any of it. I remember talking about in at an NSSF meeting back in 2013, and this language appears to be an exact copy of that.
    It doesn’t just make illegal activity more illegalerer, and it doesn’t just “do nothing”. The NICS legislation is vague, with language that includes things like “pertinent records” allowing states to decide what is pertinent. This legislation identifies specific and additional records each state has to submit to NICS, with a heavy emphasis on mental health records. That’s where much of the NICS falls apart. The legislation also provides grants to states in order to give them the funding to gather and input that data mental health and criminal record data into NICS, cause ain’t nothin for free.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      “That’s where much of the NICS falls apart.”

      The NICS system falls apart on the RELIANCE end. It’s UNRELIABLE, as the government can collect, collate, disseminate, all the information it wants, and people will still be able to ‘stay off of the radar’ and [later] bloom into some freak show at a time of their choosing (such ‘bad actors’ don’t even have to have mental or other issues, if life drives them off the rails, then those in the immediate vicinity gets to view the train wreck. NICS WON’T PREVENT OR ‘FORESHADOW’ THOSE EVENTS [as already proven]). Can we stop most “bad actors”? It doesn’t matter, if the sieve is an fing sieve then they don’t get to sell it as a bucket. It’s an expensive and intrusive sieve, and it’s all a great pile of bs, that is [at best] a pain in the ass for those wishing to purchase their desired firearms, and [at its worst] a weak and wet-shit verification system that can throw a false-positive and permanently cause negative ripples throughout the remaining gun-ownership-life of [the] NICS using individual.

      Gun Rights protect you from your government.
      Gun Legislation protects your government from you. Don’t let them sell it as a means (whatsoever) to protect you.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        [I believe] You also have to admit, that the NFA tax stamp background checks are just as DEFECTIVE. You know that a person, with a little extra $ can purchase an NFA item, file the paperwork, pay for the stamp, wait the LONG TIME to obtain the [background checked] approval, receive the stamp, pick up the item, and do whatever the F mischief that person would care to. In fact (and I’ve blogged it before) if such a person picked up their NFA item, and called the D.C., or local, office of the ATF&E, and TOLD THEM, that they were going to use it on them, that person would likely be largely successful before the ATF&E, and even through local law enforcement, could interdict that person.

        THEREFORE: They are not really stopping ANYONE OTHER THAN those who don’t need to immediately be stopped (and mostly none of those, as well).

        FURTHER: The system favors those wealthy-enough (and sometimes it takes what might be considered ‘very wealthy’ or ‘extremely wealthy’ to be able to exercise such RIGHTS. Whereas, neither of those two levels of ‘wealth’ necessarily come with any better moral values, or ‘good’ citizenship, or less “craziness”). It’s all bullshit, yet it’s sold as (not even a usurpation of rights, but as) “protections” for the average citizen, and that is a steamy loose pile of cr_p.

        AND: I believe, the logic of that all is very evident with only a mild perusal.

        SO: They’re doing it ON PURPOSE, and the purpose isn’t what they say it is, and it’s not to help U.S.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Regarding the NICS system [and the NFA check system] the ‘wealth’ issue IS HUGELY APPARANT, and it is definitely used as a pick-and-roll move by the ATF&E as a DE FACTO GUN BAN.

          That is all bullshit too, and it doesn’t take more than a second or two of perusal for the logic of the argument to become apparent (claiming ignorance [of the logic] is total bs on purpose).

        2. avatar Joe R. says:

          AND – they can pound all of their “we have to do something” sh_t up their a_ _ with a spilling-over handful of salt.

          I think it’s all about the UN’s “Sustainability Agenda”
          Those F’ers think the whole world is theirs, but they can’t convince anyone with individual rights or individual property, OR THE MEANS TO PROTECT THOSE.

          Download their published information:
          Then go back and look at the history and the timeline, and it lines up perfectly with all of the past ‘pushes’ for gun control (they call it “safety” and “[rights to] protections from violence”). It’s insidious, and the evil POS (D) and some rinos ARE GETTING PAID BIG BUCKS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

        3. avatar Joe R. says:

          Look back at the UN’s:

          Agenda 21
          Millennium Assembly (2000) [EU’s Agenda 2000]


          Communism cometh.

      2. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        Where is my UP vote button for Joe R!

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      When you say “mental health records” does that pertain to court records or does this bill rewrite HIPPA in some way as well?

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        HIPPA allows for release of records to appropriate authorities.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          HIPPA allows for release under a select set of circumstances such as when the person has made credible threats or when they have made statements to the effect that they may harm themselves or others.

          In those cases the finding of a medical professional is not generally considered a substitute for due process. This article would seem to suggest that this bill might change that.

      2. avatar DoomGuy says:

        It’s probably records of people who have never been convicted of a crime.

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Joe R, note I did not give an opinion of the law, just a clarification of facts as it pertains to the law, what it says, and who wrote it.
      I personally believe any check a lawful citizen is required to perform in order to exercise their rights is immoral and unconstitutional.

      1. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        JW I reread your opinion / clarification of the facts . Your reply SOUNDS pro Senate Bill 2135, where pro (bipartisan) means dual penetration.


  12. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Senate Bill Strengthening Background Checks Moves Closer to Reality”

    This make zero sense…the system works as designed…

    Guns are ALWAYS going to be available on the black market, and anyone who wants a gun, legal or not, can get one…

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Absolutely. I read as recently as this morning that the California shooter’s two rifles were “homemade”, whatever that means. We do know that insurgents can stamp out AKs in caves. What do we expect in the U.S. with a Home Depot, Grainger, or some other tools and materials vendor on every corner and an Internet full of DIY instructions just a few clicks away?

      Trying to prohibit mass murders, or even just spree shootings, via gun control is beyond foolish.

      1. avatar Icabod says:

        My read is that the two were “ghost guns.” Start with an 80% lower receiver and build from there. As 3D printing can produce a complete lower receiver, it seems to be more the task of buying legal parts and putting them together.

  13. avatar Scoutino says:

    Instead of polishing the NICS turd, get rid of it. Criminals don’t care anyways and decent folks shouldn’t be considered guilty until proven innocent.

    I did contact my Senator and Congressman on behest of NRA, asking them to oppose any and all gun control bills. Unfortunately both Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi (both D) anwered something like: “Thank you for your request, but in order to stop gunviolence epidemy I will keep pushing our commonsense nonsense. But don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever need anything.” Illinois sucks.

  14. avatar rt66paul says:

    Strengthening this could be as easy as declaring anyone prescribed certain types of mood elevating drugs to be a danger to themselves and then taking away their rights.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      “Strengthening this could be as easy as declaring anyone prescribed certain types of mood elevating drugs to be a danger to themselves and then taking away their rights.”

      Strengthening this could be as easy as declaring anyone wanting or expressing a need for a firearm to be a danger to themselves and then taking away their rights.

      How fast can you mobilize against that? Too late.

  15. avatar troutbum5 says:

    If this is just to ensure that state and military information makes it into the NICS, nothing really changes. Except that dems, Shannon Watts, and the media might be nullified. For awhile.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Military information of the type already covered by federal law could be handled with just an executive order. It concerns me when they propose bringing out the bug guns of legislation, which is capable of so much more menace, when a simpler solution would suffice.

  16. avatar W'ya D-40 says:

    “They” want to include mental health and/or medical records? What about HIPAA?
    IT seems like a slippery slope, What about ppl diagnosed w/ PTSD, depression, anxiety,
    ADHD, sleep disorders, bi-polar, ect. If you get denied for the above reasons, do they notify ATF? not only do You get denied the right to buy firearm, the police confiscate what you already have, could make buying a firearm knowing you have medical exceptions a Felony. what about family members in your house w/ the aformentioned (sic) conditions? This looks like a Whole lot of Infringment(sic) for VERY little Results.

  17. avatar Marcus says:

    Can they attach it to the SHARE Act so I can get my $200 back?

  18. avatar DaveL says:

    Exactly how does the bill propose to ensure all records are uploaded? Haven’t there been bills like this passed before? I thought for sure there was one after Virginia Tech, and I think there’s been at least one other.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      There are laws that require law enforcement to submit records to the system.

      The laws do not outline any sort of punishment or consequences for failing to do so, which leads directly to the situation we have now.

  19. avatar Republic if you can keep it says:

    Attach some pro gun goodies from the Share Act to it! Background checks may not even be constitutional, but we should at least get something out of fixing their broken law.

  20. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    So the Senate wants to pass a bill to do what the government should be doing all along. Ok.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    Fix NICS? I once had a dog fixed. I suggest the same fix for NICS.

  22. avatar Tim says:

    Still waiting for any of these “Senators” or anyone else to point to that portion of the Constitution which authorizes any of this. Here’s a hint: Our federal Constitution doesn’t delegate to the federal government any power over the Country at Large to restrict our arms. Accordingly, all pretended federal laws, regulations, orders, opinions, or treaties which purport to do so are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated. They are also unconstitutional as in violation of the Second Amendment.

  23. avatar George says:

    SCOTUS has ruled that treaties take president over the Constitution. My take is that should be reversed. In my opinion, nothing takes president over the US Constitution.
    As for back-ground-checks, up until JFK’s death, guns could be purchased by mail order. I purchased my first one from Sears out of their catalog. Per capita, we didn’t have any more shooting, before JFK’s shooting, then we do now.

  24. avatar Katrina says:

    First off, this is not a Gun problem as much as a Mental Health problem, and they are completely ignoring that. If a Mentally ill person is intent on causing chaos and destruction, they will. If they can’t get their hands on a gun, they will find another tool. This bill is an excuse to whittle away at our rights a little at a time especially since this law is already on the books, but not enforced. Simple and cheap solution would be to enforce the law that already exists.
    How far will they go with this crap? How many of us have seen a doctor for situational depression after the death of a loved one? Or been prescribed a medication for anxiety? Government is already to large with too many laws over us.

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