Dingell, NRA Working on Bill to Strengthen Background Checks


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Connecticut Yankee
April 20, 2007, 06:04 AM
Gun Control
Dingell, NRA Working on Bill to Strengthen Background Checks

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 20, 2007; Page A10

With the Virginia Tech shootings resurrecting calls for tighter gun controls, the National Rifle Association has begun negotiations with senior Democrats over legislation to bolster the national background-check system and potentially block gun purchases by the mentally ill.

Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.), a gun-rights Democrat who once served on the NRA's board of directors, is leading talks with the powerful gun lobby in hopes of producing a deal by early next week, Democratic aides and lawmakers said.
Under the bill, states would be given money to help them supply the federal government with information on mental-illness adjudications and other run-ins with the law that are supposed to disqualify individuals from firearms purchases. For the first time, states would face penalties for not keeping the National Instant Criminal Background Check System current.

The legislation, drafted several years ago by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), has twice passed the House, only to die in the Senate. But Cho Seung Hui's rampage Monday has given it new life.

Since 1968, individuals deemed mentally ill by the legal system are not supposed to be able to buy guns. A court's ordering Cho into treatment in late 2005 should have been reported to the federal background check system, congressional aides said. Instead, his background check came up clean, and he legally bought the two handguns used to kill 32 students and teachers before he committed suicide.
The states are not putting records into the system," McCarthy said yesterday.

The measure could be the first gun control law to pass Congress since enactment of the now-lapsed assault weapons ban 13 years ago. But, McCarthy said, the deaths at Virginia Tech are not enough to propel the bill to passage. That is why the NRA is being brought into the process.

Multiple gun control measures were introduced after the Columbine High School shootings eight years ago, but the NRA helped thwart them all, then helped defeat Vice President Al Gore's 2000 bid for the White House. With that in mind, Democratic leaders are anxious to bring the NRA aboard as they try to respond to this week's shootings.

The gun lobby stayed relatively neutral during past efforts to pass the measure, but this time Dingell is pushing for an endorsement, or even for the NRA to make it a "key vote" for its supporters.

McCarthy, whose husband was killed during a gunman's rampage on the Long Island Rail Road, admits her crusades for far more stringent gun control measures have made her toxic in gun circles.

So Dingell is handling negotiations with the NRA, said an aide participating in those talks. Dingell is also in talks with Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (Wis.), the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has asked Dingell to broker a deal by Tuesday. But the aide said Dingell and NRA negotiators are skeptical they can reach an accord that quickly.

"We'd rather get a good bill than a quick bill," he said.

But pitfalls remain. The NRA must balance its desire to respond to the worst mass shooting by a lone gunman in the nation's history with its competition with the more strident Gun Owners of America, which opposes any restrictions on gun purchases.

An NRA lobbyist said last night that the group would not comment on the effort.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/19/AR2007041902437.html [Source URL}

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Soybomb
April 20, 2007, 06:33 AM
But, McCarthy said, the deaths at Virginia Tech are not enough to propel the bill to passage. That is why the NRA is being brought into the process.
What an interesting pair of sentences. I remain relatively unimpressed with the NRA.

1 old 0311
April 20, 2007, 06:58 AM
As a shooter for 40 years, and a NRA member for 30 I see NO PROBLEM in any legislation that would keep weapons out of the wrong hands. Where the problem WOULD lie however is if a weapon were obtained from a private party. When you get into the second part of this equation is when things start to cross the line.:confused: :confused: :confused:

dave_pro2a
April 20, 2007, 07:13 AM
Let's see if the sell out again.

eliphalet
April 20, 2007, 07:44 AM
Dingell, NRA Working on Bill to Strengthen Background Checks
Worse than a simple sell out!


E-gad I am a life member of this origination, have they become fools or fooled themselves? more laws are going to do nothing! How about easing what BS we gotta go through now? Come on NRA more laws are NOT the answer, Hasn't almost 40 years of new laws proved that point.

They should be working on less infringed rights not more restrictions. Man am I gonna send them a letter in the morning.

PILMAN
April 20, 2007, 08:06 AM
So what happens if someones been diagnosed bipolar? They can no longer obtain a gun?

camacho
April 20, 2007, 08:13 AM
If in the aftermath of this tragedy the only thing that happens is strengthening of the background checks to include better reporting on the mentally ill, we are way ahead of the game. Folks, I know some of you are quick to jump with accusations of selling out, but remember that politics is a game and whoever plays it smart wins. Based on what I am reading, this will have zero impact for great majority of us. What will happen is that we will end up with a law which will make the regular Joe on the street feel good and in my mind will raise the stock of the NRA in the eyes of the non-gun public. The last thing is important since the NRA is viewed by many of the non-gun folks almost as an extreme, right wing organization.

Also, we do not know what kind of negotiations are going behind the scenes between the NRA and the Dems. I am pretty sure if the NRA puts its name on this it will ask for some big consessions on the Dem side. Maybe H.R.1022, maybe something else.

Again, let's look at the big picture here which is preservation and less infringement on our rights in the future.

Just my .02 cents.

El Tejon
April 20, 2007, 08:13 AM
Anyone remember the NRA slogan "No more gun laws"?

Remember when the NRA used to call background checks what they were unconstitutional prior restraint?

Remember when the NRA used to care about civil rights and not duck hunting?

30 cal slob
April 20, 2007, 08:40 AM
ok, i confess to reading through my GOA newsletters too quickly when they arrive (sorry Larry, i get so much junk mail now).

how is GOA going to piss in NRA's cornflakes on this one?

Dan from MI
April 20, 2007, 08:47 AM
What do we get in return? How about ending the import bans or eliminating "sporting purposes" changing it to any "lawful purpose". How about ending the 1986 ban.

I'll deal, but I damn well be ahead at the end of the deal.

nobody_special
April 20, 2007, 08:50 AM
Based on what I am reading, this will have zero impact for great majority of us.

That's the way gun control works in this country; they nickel-and-dime us to death. That said, I'm all for keeping guns out of the hands of madmen... but another law isn't going to do that. And while I should probably withhold judgment until I can read the text of a proposed bill, well, I just can't resist... this is likely to be yet another government intrusion into people's personal lives and privacy, and also another hoop for some people to jump through when purchasing a gun.

Not long ago, the NRA mailed me an unsolicited letter asking me to join. I'm not impressed with them, and they won't be getting my money. I'm not sure whose side they're on anymore.

Kaylee
April 20, 2007, 09:09 AM
gah.

Well all.. time to call if you're in the NRA and insist they take a hard line. Camacho, I get your point, but the unintended consequences of such a bill really worry me - I don't trust judges (especially in the "if you want a gun at all you must be mentally ill" areas) to hand down those adjudications with just as much regularity as sign off on restraining orders in divorce cases. There had better be some strong restrictions to keep that from happening.

Further, do we believe what we say or not? Heck with 1022, we killed that before, and it's not likely to pass now. The NRA should be holding out for nothing less than not only dropping the stupid mag restriction bills, but also national CCW and an end to "gun-free victim" zones.

They want to talk compromise, they'd better be ready to gosh-darn do some compromising of their own.

JohnBT
April 20, 2007, 09:59 AM
Let's see, Congress appears to be in the mood to pass some gun legislation. Here's the question, should the NRA attempt to have some input on the final bill or sit back and let the gun control advocates have the only input?

If the NRA refuses to participate then we'll all be sitting around after the bill passes demanding to know why they didn't do something. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

John
http://masterchorale.org/performances/images/ccc-full.jpg

LAR-15
April 20, 2007, 10:13 AM
Politics is about compromise.

I think we need to get the NRA to say:

"Look you want better NICS records, we want this gun control law repealed. That's the deal, take it or leave it."

See in order to get this bill passed, the NRA should demand something in return.

Heck load it up with a 922(o) repeal.

flashman70
April 20, 2007, 10:25 AM
I think a carefully worded modification to the NICS to keep nuts from buying guns doesn't do villence to RKBA. I just said on the NJ vs VA thread that there needs to be some way to keep guys like Cho from buying guns. I revere the 2nd amendment but think the NRA is right to work to get the most tightly worded provision possible. If someone is bipolar and goes off their meds and shoots themselves, does that advance gun ownership in America?

We have to fight to the last breath to keep Bloomberg's crowd away from purchase records, etc. Good faith negotiating on this issue however, helps all gun owners.

John Hicks
April 20, 2007, 10:35 AM
well said, flashman.

I've been saying this in a few threads:

It's up to us to lead the way in keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Every time something bad happens, the banners get fired up. We need to offer solutions that sound reasonable, so when the banners get into a hissy fit, they sound unreasonable.

That said, it would be nice if NRA played hardball and tried to get something repealed in the process.

LAR-15
April 20, 2007, 10:52 AM
That's what I am saying.

Getting something in return.

I agree it should be harder for folks like Cho to get guns.

I am also afraid they might try to regulate private sales.

pcosmar
April 20, 2007, 10:59 AM
Ok, I have a problem with back round checks. They don't really check anything accurately. There are many who are denied due to misinformation, and others who are approved due to lack of information.
I am classed as a Felon. This does not in reality tell you anything about me.
My rights have been restored, I can vote, or run for public office. I have spent the last couple decades as an honest citizen. Is this reflected in a back round check?
All there is , is a note that I was convicted once.
If someone has a breakdown, and sees a shrink, gets help and recovers to lead a normal healthy life, will that be recorded?
It seems that the only check is for the negative input, with the goal of denial of rights. There is no provision for looking at any positive points that would restore rights.
Also this does nothing to check any "flaws" that may not be recorded somewhere. Or prevent a future "breakdown" or lapse in judgment.

Just 2cents, From one who IS there.

romma
April 20, 2007, 11:01 AM
While I advocate NRA membership on a yearly basis, this is exactly why I think life membership in the NRA might be a bad thing... You never know which way the wind might end up blowing.

ATW525
April 20, 2007, 11:21 AM
If someone is bipolar and goes off their meds and shoots themselves, does that advance gun ownership in America?

I would like to point out that being diagnosed bipolar is not the same thing as being abjudicated mentally defective. There is a significant difference between somebody who's been diagnosed with a mental illness (which includes a significant portion of the general population) and somebody who's been abjudicated mentally defective. Only people who have been abjudicated mentally defective or involutarily committed are prohibited from owning firearms for mental health reasons.

It's extremely important to keep the focus to the narrow category of people that the law applies to. If you start expanding the laws, then where do you stop? If you start restricting the rights of bipolars, then what about people who were treated for depression? What about people diagnosed with ADD as a child? What about rape victims who sought help for PTSD? Should they never be able to own a firearm?

SteveS
April 20, 2007, 11:29 AM
I am most concerned that the bill may contain language that could eventually expand the definition of who is not 'mentally' qualified to buy a gun. I worked with a kid that was involuntarily admitted as a 12 year old. Assuming he gets his act together, why should he face a lifetime ban on firearms ownership? I just have a hard time supporting a removal of a basic right on an entire group of people. If it is going to be done, it needs to be on a case by case basis, with a showing of current danger to self or others, and subject to periodic review.

That being said, I prefer an NRA/Dingell law to McCarthy law.

only1asterisk
April 20, 2007, 11:33 AM
Background checks affect crime like driver's licenses prevent drunk driving. NICS is an abomination. If congress wants to pass more gun control, they will have cram it down my throat with me fighting them every inch.

David

halvey
April 20, 2007, 11:35 AM
All I hear around these boards is guys talking about the "rights of law abiding gun owners." So they want to help pass a bill to make sure nutjobs like Cho don't get guns?

Good.

Dan from MI
April 20, 2007, 11:54 AM
Another part of a deal. Full faith and credit on CPL. Translation. I can carry in all states with a resident CPL from my own state.

John Hicks
April 20, 2007, 12:07 PM
Actually, national concealed carry would go well with this bill.

Think about it:

A law that helps restrict mentally defective people from purchasing a firearm AND allows for lawful CCW permit holders to travel from state to state without fear of prosecution.

Sell it as: prevent the crime AND help give people the ability to fight back. Of course, there's still the VT campus provision to worry about, but that was a trespassing ordinance, not state law.

jh

El Tejon
April 20, 2007, 12:25 PM
If we can abolish all "sporting" clauses in Ttitle 18 and nationwide reciprocity, along with federal preemption for gun laws--I'll agree without hesitation.:)

Bartholomew Roberts
April 20, 2007, 12:42 PM
First of all, the NRA has been backing this bill since 2004 so this isn't a new thing or a response to Virginia Tech.

Second, the bill has been written various ways at various times and the current version McCarthy proposed has some serious problems that GOA has already pointed out.

As it stands right now, Printz v. United States means that state officials cannot be commandeered into reporting data for the NICS system. Congress must rely on bribing or extorting the states via federal funds to get compliance (or rely on the good will of the states). This bill is essentially setting aside federal funds to bribe states into reporting data to NICS according to federal laws instead of state laws.

There are two major areas where this can benefit gun owners if the legislation is written correctly:

1) In states that have a stricter definition of "adjudicated mentally defective" than the federal standard, you currently get reported to the NICS system even though you don't meet the federal standard. This means you can get out of NICS with the appropriate trial by paperwork; but probably not a pleasant experience.

2) If the funds are there to update information more quickly and report it more accurately, it should mean less delays and less false denials, especially for gun owners who have a common name or a name similar to someone on the restricted list.

And of course, to the extent the bill prevents people like Cho from obtaining firearms without burdening peacable citizens, it helps all gun owners.

The major opposition to the bill so far has come from the mental health profession itself. They are concerned that if this area is tightened, people will simply not seek treatment at all and the situation will be worse rather than better.

Henry Bowman
April 20, 2007, 01:06 PM
The major opposition to the bill so far has come from the mental health profession itself. They are concerned that if this area is tightened, people will simply not seek treatment at all and the situation will be worse rather than better.Likely to be the case.

And of course, to the extent the bill prevents people like Cho from obtaining firearms without burdening peacable citizens, it helps all gun owners.With all due respect, Bart...

I realize this is easy for me to say, but I want my rights over safety. I would rather Cho or anybody not locked up to be able to exercise all of their rights -- without prior restraint or chilling effect, just like the 1A rights -- than to give up some of my rights in the mere prospect of safety.

To really achieve safety, we would have to give up our 1st, 4th, 5th, and 7th Amendment rights. Giving up (infringing) the 2A create only a misguided illusion of safety. Safety will not be achieved and the controllers will keep coming back to the well for more until they are all gone.

Freedom is not safe. I realize this is an extremist view point. Freedom -- liberty -- is extreme. This country was founded on extreme liberty. Just at the time when we are ready to give up some right or freedom (think 9/12/2001), that is often when we need it the most. Occasional danger from a Cho-type person is the price of freedom. Freedom is not paid for only by men and women in uniform who fight in wars that have a beginning and an end. It is a price we must pay -- or risk having to pay -- every day. In exchange, we get the ability, the freedom, the right , to protect ourselves and each other. If we first give up or continue curbing our ability for self-protection, especially in exchange for ineffective laws that merely intend or provide the "feeling" of security, we will be continuing to make a bad deal.

Despite all of that, El Tejon's proposal would be pretty tempting.

Dallas239
April 20, 2007, 01:10 PM
well said, flashman.

I've been saying this in a few threads:

It's up to us to lead the way in keeping guns out of the wrong hands. Every time something bad happens, the banners get fired up. We need to offer solutions that sound reasonable, so when the banners get into a hissy fit, they sound unreasonable.

That said, it would be nice if NRA played hardball and tried to get something repealed in the process.

We should be getting rid of NICS, not strengthening it. How many crimes has NICS prevented? None? It's the neoliberal philosophy to "strengthen" laws when they aren't working. Don't fall for that trap. Everyone has the right to keep and bear arms for their and the mutual defense. What they don't have the right to do is go on shooting rampages. Who many laws did Cho break? Does anyone believe that just one more would have made a difference?

When they came for the felons,
I remained silent;
I am not a felon.

When they came for those with restraining orders,
I remained silent;
I am not subject to a restraining order.

When they came for the mentally ill,
I remained silent;
I am not mentally ill.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

(apologies to Martin Niemöller)

gego
April 20, 2007, 01:13 PM
My view is the whole philosophy that individual actions can be controlled by a central authority is the bankrupt product of insecure, passive, frightened minds.

The NRA cooperation in support of this myth by going along with this legislation looks foolish to me. Looks to me like they don't get the 2nd amendment. How was it that this nation survived for centuries without background checks and now we need the approval of government before we can arm ourselves?

You might need to be more insane than Cho to think that another massacre will be avoided in the future. Someone will get a gun legally, or illegally and shoot up another bunch of kids; it is just a matter of time, and it will happen again and again.

Dallas239
April 20, 2007, 01:16 PM
And of course, to the extent the bill prevents people like Cho from obtaining firearms without burdening peacable citizens, it helps all gun owners.

Of course that isn't possible. For every Cho, there are how many peaceable gun owners? 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? 80,000,000? Even if the ratio is only 1:10,000, a 1% false positive rate means that law abiding gun purchasers will be "burdened" one hundred times more often than the real prohibited persons. And that competely ignores the false negative problem...

Malone LaVeigh
April 20, 2007, 01:19 PM
The problem most people have with NICS is in the implementation. How about including language that mandates an appeals process for denials? And a fair process for restoration of rights?

Sage of Seattle
April 20, 2007, 01:21 PM
Folks, I know some of you are quick to jump with accusations of selling out, but remember that politics is a game and whoever plays it smart wins.

It seems your comment is analogous to the idea that you pay a thief $50 and he doesn't steal your TV. See? It's win/win. He gets the fifty and you get to keep your TV. After all, it's only the smart way to prevent theft.


Based on what I am reading, this will have zero impact for great majority of us.

For now, perhaps.

What will happen is that we will end up with a law which will make the regular Joe on the street feel good and in my mind will raise the stock of the NRA in the eyes of the non-gun public.

Oh wait. It'll make the regular Joe feel good? Never mind, I retract all my opposition to any further gun-control legislation. How selfish I've been!


Again, let's look at the big picture here which is preservation and less infringement on our rights in the future.

Um. I don't understand this last statement. More laws now equal less infringement in the future?

Scanr
April 20, 2007, 01:25 PM
Give them nothing! One more law, then one more law. Next Christians will be banned from owning a gun, because only the sane people know there is no god.

RIDE
April 20, 2007, 01:32 PM
I am beyond disappointed in hearing this...

My only hope is that the NRA can piggy-back a NATIONAL Concealed Carry bill.

Along with not even touching private sales.

shaggycat
April 20, 2007, 01:32 PM
Actually, national concealed carry would go well with this bill.

Think about it:

A law that helps restrict mentally defective people from purchasing a firearm AND allows for lawful CCW permit holders to travel from state to state without fear of prosecution.

Sell it as: prevent the crime AND help give people the ability to fight back. Of course, there's still the VT campus provision to worry about, but that was a trespassing ordinance, not state law.

jh

I would accept a bill that prevents mentally defective people from purchasing handguns if an accompanying bill stating that states must grant reciprocity for carry permits and that it is illegal to refuse citizens the rights to carry (ie, college students with a CCW could carry on campus) passed with it.

RIDE
April 20, 2007, 01:35 PM
I would accept a bill that prevents mentally defective people from purchasing handguns

Be careful.... How are they going to do it??? How about a certified mental evaluation prior to any purchases???? Still on board with this idea???

rbernie
April 20, 2007, 02:02 PM
As a shooter for 40 years, and a NRA member for 30 I see NO PROBLEM in any legislation that would keep weapons out of the wrong hands. Who crafts the definition of 'wrong'? How do you ensure that the definition of 'wrong' doesn't keep moving the goalposts over time until we're all 'wrong'?

More fundamantally, the effort to make the Brady check more stringent has only one possible end-game; to preclude the possibility of private firearm sales (aka 'the gun show loophole'). Once they have mandated the states to update NICS more fully, do you think they'll stand still for folks not USING the NICS checks? No way. Mandatory background checks and FFL-only transfers will be just the next step in the 'reasonable controls' placed upon the object.

Guys - a gun is an object. It's just an object. If Cho should not have been trusted with a firearm, he should not have been trusted with a car or any other object capable of causing death or serious injury.

Let's not get sucked into 'reasonable' again - we've been down that road a whole bunch and it never ends well.

If the NRA is involved in this - they are dead wrong.

eliphalet
April 20, 2007, 02:03 PM
Sad to see gun owners even discussing the points of a new gun laws when what should be being said is " what can we do to fight this one and repeal or lighten laws already in place".

I'd say, from what I read here, we are in trouble, but that is nothing new.


Ever hear "united we stand divided we fall"?
Sadly we, the firearm community, are very divided

romma
April 20, 2007, 02:28 PM
Let society clean up it's ills as they come along.... GIVE THEM NOTHING!

Derek Zeanah
April 20, 2007, 02:42 PM
This isn't compromise, this is appeasement.

My fear with this, as with all new laws and regulations, is that it'll eventually warp into something else. Like the WMD legislation being used against meth cooks, and more recently against a kid who was wrongly fingered for felony count of threatening to use weapons of mass destruction (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/news/westmoreland/s_501066.html) over a school bomb threat (hint: a pipe bomb isn't equivalent to nerve gas or a nuke).

We'll see this expand to anyone who's ever taken anti-depression medication, anyone who ever worried she might have postpartum depression (http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/postpartum.htm) (however minor), anyone ever required by a judge or employer to undergo anger management counseling, anyone who ever voluntarily checked into a rehab center, and so on and so forth. Not right away, give it decades.

And we'll have the NRA to thank for it. Who does this help? Do we honestly believe rules that prohibit a schizoid delusional dude from buying a gun at the local pawn shop will keep him disarmed? Who thinks so?

This is a PR move by the NRA, and it's cost is another tiny piece of our rights, and another chink in our collective armor that will be exploited by the enemies of freedom at some later date.

Say it won't happen? Remember the Lautenberg Amendment? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_Violence_Offender_Gun_Ban) You know, that ex-post-facto law that disarmed anyone who'd ever been convicted of domestic violence? In spite of the whole No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed language in the Constitution?

Yeah. That's my concern. Thanks NRA for helping justify the bias I've shown against you in other threads today...

only1asterisk
April 20, 2007, 02:56 PM
This isn't compromise, this is appeasement.

I agree 100%.

David

JohnBT
April 20, 2007, 06:40 PM
Well folks, that what lobbyists do, lobby. They have to talk to the other side.

I am disappointed that very few posters on this thread appear to be aware that these talks have been going on for years.

http://mccain.senate.gov/press_office/view_article.cfm?id=474

McCain was talking about the need to fix NICS in 2002.

"Washington, DC - Calling for an overhaul of America's faulty gun background check system, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today introduced legislation to improve the accuracy and speed with which these records are used to stop criminals from acquiring guns. The 'Our Lady of Peace Act' is co-sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Larry Craig (R-ID) and Edward Kennedy (D- MA). The following is the statement Sen. McCain entered into the Congressional record:

"Mr. President, along with Senators Schumer, Craig, and Kennedy, I rise today to introduce the Our Lady of Peace Act' that has the strong support of major organizations across the political spectrum.

"This legislation fixes a huge hole in our system - a hole that delays legitimate firearms purchases and allows criminals and other prohibited buyers to obtain guns. The hole is the faulty records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Based on a report released by Americans for Gun Safety Foundation in January 2002, Congress has learned that millions of records are missing from the NICS database. Over a 30-month period, 10,000 criminals obtained a firearm despite a background check because the records couldn't be checked properly within the 3 days allowed by federal law. In addition, thousands of other prohibited buyers will never be stopped because very few restraining order, drug abuse or mental disability records are kept at all. This report makes it clear that if we are to be serious about stopping criminals, wife-beaters and illegal aliens from slipping through a background check, we had better fix this broken system.

"Mr. President, better records mean more accurate background checks - checks which stop prohibited buyers while allowing legitimate buyers to be approved. And better records put the 'instant' back into instant check, because delays occur when records have to be searched manually. In fact, the only reason why criminal background checks sometime take several days is because records have to be checked by hand instead of computer.

"Mr. President, the figure is astonishing. There are over 30 million missing records.

"For felony records, the typical state has automated only 58% of its felony conviction records. The FBI estimates that out of 39 million felony arrest records, 16 million of them lack final disposition information. Without final disposition records, background checks must rely on time consuming manual searches of courthouse files to approve or deny firearms purchases.

"On the issue of mental health, 33 states keep no mental health disqualifying records and no state supplies mental health disqualifying records to NICS. The General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates that 2.7 million mental illness records should be in the NICS databases, but less than 100,000 records are available (nearly all from VA mental hospitals). States have supplied only 41 mental health records to NICS. Combined with the federal records, the GAO estimates that only 8.6% of the records of those disqualified from buying a firearm for mental health reasons are accessible on the NICS database.

"In the case of drug abusers, the GAO estimates that only 3% of the 14 million records of drug abusers are automated (not including felons and wanted fugitives). States have supplied only 97 of those records to NICS which the GAO estimates as representing less than 0.1% of the total records of those with drug records that would deny them a firearm.

"On the issue of domestic violence, 20 states lack a database for either domestic violence misdemeanants or temporary restraining orders or both. 42% of all NICS denials based on restraining orders come from one state 'Kentucky' which does the best job of automating TRO's from the bench. The Department of Justice estimates that nearly 2 million restraining order records are missing from the database.

"In the case of illegal Aliens/non-immigrant status records, the GAO estimates that over 2 million illegal alien records are absent from the NICS database. Through 2001, NICS had no records of non-immigrants in the United States making it impossible to stop visitors to the U.S. on tourist or student visas from purchasing firearms.

"Mr. President, the benefits of better records are simple and important. They lead to accurate and instant background checks. Better records mean we would be able to stop far more prohibited buyers from obtaining a gun than we do now. When a restraining order, drug abuse or mental health record is missing, nothing in the NICS system indicates a reason to delay the sale and search records. NICS simply approves the transaction - usually within 3 minutes.

"Poor records are why and this legislation will fix the system. This bill requires federal agencies such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the VA to provide all records of those disqualified from purchasing a firearm to NICS. For INS, it would mean sending millions of records of those here on tourist visas, student visas, and all other non-immigrant visas to NICS. Each state would be allowed to receive a waiver for up to 5 years of the 10% matching requirement for the National Criminal History Improvement Grants (NCHIP) when that state automates and makes available to NICS at least 95% of records of those disqualified from purchasing a firearm. This bill also requires states to automate and send to NICS all disqualifying records under federal and state law, including domestic violence misdemeanors, restraining orders, criminal conviction misdemeanors, drug abuse and other relevant records to NICS.

"We also provides grants of $250 million per year for three years to states to improve background check records, automate systems, enhance states capacities to perform background checks, supply mental health records and domestic violence records to NICS. We also give grants of $125 million per year for three years to states to assess their systems for rapidly getting criminal conviction, domestic violence records and other records from the courtroom into the NICS database and for improving those systems so as to eliminate the lag time between conviction and entry into NICS.

"Mr. President, better records mean instant checks. 72% of background checks are approved and completed within minutes, but 5 % take days to complete for one reason onlyfaulty records force law enforcement into time consuming searches to locate final disposition records for felony and domestic violence convictions. It is our hope that this legislation will finally make our records system complete and totally stop prohibited buyers from gaining access to firearms while allowing legitimate buyers to be approved." "

LAR-15
April 20, 2007, 08:25 PM
What the NRA needs to demand is full funding of rights restoration (passed as part of the FOPA 1986)

Funding for that has been stopped since 1992.

I would not be suprised if the NRA demanded that.

RavenVT100
April 20, 2007, 08:39 PM
I agree with Derek. This is appeasement. Law-abiding gun owners are not obligated to "compromise" with anyone, we have not done anything wrong.

What if Cho had not had mental problems and did what he did anyway? What would we, as people who merely happen to own firearms, be "obligated" to do after that?

I'm less interested in appeasing someone's knee-jerk reaction to something that happens statistically infrequently in our society and more interested in helping people not end up in situations where they want to kill each other in the first place. I don't think it does justice to the victims of last Monday to follow any other route.

River Wraith
April 20, 2007, 08:45 PM
This makes me sick. I am waiting for the outcome, but if it is what I perceive as a negative one I will be cancelling my life membership to the NRA and obtaining a life membership to GOA. I just wish they gave refunds.

Chui
April 20, 2007, 09:20 PM
The NRA is NOT Your Friend...

JohnBT
April 20, 2007, 10:37 PM
The NRA is your friend. They are doing everything they can to hold back the sweeping forces of those who would abolish private gun ownership in the U.S.

I understand those folks who think the way to do this to draw a line in the sand and refuse to talk to the other side as they attempt to pass the bills, limit our ability to own guns and then confiscate our guns, but I don't think that's the way to fight the battle.

You draw a line and stand there and you'll find a runaway train coming to flatten you.

John

Ratzinger_p38
April 20, 2007, 10:48 PM
Guys as I mentioned in another thread, this scares me that I will be disqaulified.

Here is my situation:

~When I was 16, they diagnosed me with 'obsessive compulsive' disorder, and I was on zoloft.
~When I was 17, I switched to Prozac but only took it briefly.
~When I was 20, I was having trouble sleeping and took Trazadone for about 8 months
~When I was 22, I applied for SSI as I was, as I claimed "too depressed to work". They made me an appointment with a local pyshcologist, (no, not the in OR out patient situation, no court or judges, just some local shrink, and I walked to his office which was near my apt in Auburn, CA) and about 1 month later I got a letter back saying basically "While you do seem depressed in social situations, in our opinion you are good enough to find employment" - IE Shut up and get a job. "You may appleal (I didnt)". (I am unsure if a judge was involved in this)

What do you think? Is this what they are trying to knock out? What about people who are on SSI for being "too depressed to work" (now i think this is a load of BS). Seriously this is making me shake thinking that I could lose my rights when I have passed my NICS several times over.

ATW525
April 20, 2007, 11:03 PM
Ratzinger, you do not meet the definition of mentally defective under Federal law, so you should have nothing to worry about.

pcosmar
April 20, 2007, 11:05 PM
You draw a line and stand there and you'll find a runaway train coming to flatten you.

I got a sledge hammer and an iron bar. I'll see your runaway train.

Outlaws
April 20, 2007, 11:17 PM
So what about ADD and tourettes?

Chui
April 21, 2007, 12:27 AM
quoted by JohnBT:
"The NRA is your friend. They are doing everything they can to hold back the sweeping forces of those who would abolish private gun ownership in the U.S.

I understand those folks who think the way to do this to draw a line in the sand and refuse to talk to the other side as they attempt to pass the bills, limit our ability to own guns and then confiscate our guns, but I don't think that's the way to fight the battle.

You draw a line and stand there and you'll find a runaway train coming to flatten you.

John"

:uhoh:

Uh, you've lost me. Firstly, the NRA is no friend of mine. Perhaps you perceive them to be your ally. Good for you. The facts speak a different language, brother. Look 'em up.

The only way to maintain the Constitution & Bill of Rights is to be vigilant; something you certainly are NOT advocating.

Example:

Let's just say someone comes to rape you, your significant other and your dog. :uhoh:

What could/would you possible compromise?? What IS there to be compromised?? :barf:

It's no different, dude.

Lupinus
April 21, 2007, 12:41 AM
I don't really care what they give in exchange, and I don't really care if the NRA supported the bill before or after the shooting. NICS should be eliminated not worried about being made better or stronger. Someone who was thrown in the loony bin 30 years ago and is now a perfectly fine individual shouldn't be allwoed to won firearms? Someone who made a stupid mistake as a stupid kid should be restricted forever even though they are now 55 and have been an unstanding citizen ever since?

No, it is wrong pure and simple. And the lobby that is supposed to be fighting it is working to strengthin it? I call BS on them.

Ratzinger_p38
April 21, 2007, 12:45 AM
@ATW525

I may not now, but would under any 'new' definitions? I dont think the bill has changed and I am sure it could get worse/better.

Losing my right to bear arms would be one of the worst things that could happen to me. I love my Garand :(

Lupinus
April 21, 2007, 01:05 AM
I love my Garand
I love all my children, even the bastards lol

R32
April 21, 2007, 01:32 AM
I can see I'm in the minority here, but I don't mind the NRA endorsing this bill. Assuming the bill only gives the ability to enforce the mental heath restrictions that are already in place.
If this bill provides cover for politicians to claim they did "something", without ridiculous new restrictions like the assault weapon ban, then I think this is probably the best we could have hoped for.

dave_pro2a
April 21, 2007, 02:02 AM
slippery slope. Just another example of 'broadening' the # of people aren't eligable... and it has a high risk of being used to expand that # further and further.

i.e. ever convicted of a DUI? Denied firearm rights due to nics check.

Ever gone for voluntary alcoholism treatment? Denied fiream rights due to DUI.

Given a forced diagnosis (adhd, add, etc.) as a young person by our great public education system that just loves to medicate instead of teach? Denied firearm rights.

Et cetera.

It's just a bad idea with potential far reaching consesquences.

JohnBT
April 21, 2007, 09:12 AM
"Uh, you've lost me. Firstly, the NRA is no friend of mine. Perhaps you perceive them to be your ally. Good for you. The facts speak a different language, brother. Look 'em up.

The only way to maintain the Constitution & Bill of Rights is to be vigilant; something you certainly are NOT advocating."
________________

I'm not advocating being vigilant? I suggest you back up and take a good look around. Then take your foot out of your mouth.

You make a valiant attempt to spin facts, but you fail at it.

John

jpk1md
April 21, 2007, 09:28 AM
Folks, the NRA has been on board with the NICS Improvement Bill for years.....this is not news.

Personally I think its a waste of money but I'm not going to bite off my nose to spite my face and make claims like "the NRA Sucks" because they are the only Pro Gun Group in DC that has any power and certainly the only one that the weasels in Congress fear and respect.

I will continue my support for the NRA because they are still our best vehicle for preserving RKBA in the US.

gm
April 21, 2007, 09:38 AM
So what happens after this abomination passes and millions more are added to the list of folks who are to be denied,while a common criminal can once again repeat it without fear because he/she must only then worry how long itll take for the calvary to arrive,after the fact.

Laws apply to people who want to be law abiding,criminals DO NOT care and will use it once again to their advantage.


Nope, aint buying it,no more encroachments.If something positive is to come from this, it should be changing the concealed carry laws to be more of a deterrant to future wannabes murderers and enforcing the laws already on the books,if not removing most of the needless ones entirely.

jpk1md
April 21, 2007, 09:44 AM
GM, don't get me wrong I oppose the bill, have written letters to NRA and Reps to that effect but it does not stop me from renewing my membership for all of the good NRA does.

camacho
April 21, 2007, 09:55 AM
It seems your comment is analogous to the idea that you pay a thief $50 and he doesn't steal your TV. See? It's win/win. He gets the fifty and you get to keep your TV. After all, it's only the smart way to prevent theft.

Sage, actually the analogy here is the you gave the thief $50 in monopoly money and convinced him that is the same thing as the real money. He leaves the house happy and you chuckle behind. The other alternative is: " I am not gonna give you anything not even a monopoly money you scum bag!" This results in him emptying the whole house and not only getting the TV, but the jewelry, money, the whole thing.


The point I was trying to make is when the cards are stacked against, you play the game one way. When you have the Royal Flush then you press ahead full steam.

It is politics folks, whether we like it or not. Washington has rules and if you do not play by those rules you do not sit on the table. Believe me, we want somebody who defends RKBA to sit on that table, not to yell from outside "No compromise, no compomise" Rest assured, there will be no compromise, you are not even a player!

I read some place that the reason Britain and Australia lost their gun rights is they did not have the NRA in those countries which resulted in a definite no compromise, the antis just ran them over. The NRA is not a perfect organization and they screw up here and there. However, the good they do for the RKBA is invaluable!

Mousegun
April 21, 2007, 10:04 AM
Why should it be another gun bill. The laws about the mentally ill are already on the books. It should be a MEDICAL bill that forces that lobby to open their books and allow the already existing gun law to be effective.

gm
April 21, 2007, 11:02 AM
No more.

The AWB passed and sunsetted because it too was another feel good measure that had no effect on anyone but law abiding people,back then it was because the police were outgunned by the gang bangers,drug dealers and other criminals.It didnt solve anything but restrict legal gun ownership while the violent criminals remained and made criminals out of others.


A criminal isnt going to bother with a background check,the only thing that would concern them is whether or not their victim would fight back or if they might be disturbed in the process.Nothing stopped most of the the 9/11 hijackers with box cutters but maybe a armed marshal would have,Those people had nowhere to escape.


If the NRA doesnt see it,my money will go elsewhere also.

camacho
April 21, 2007, 11:24 AM
gm,

This is not about criminal who obtained guns illegally. This is about a person who was mentally ill and bought his guns just like you and me. The analogy with 9/11 is not appropriate here, since this could have been stopped with enforcement of provisions for persons who have been adjudicated as mentally ill.

How is this hurting the law-abiding citizens? Moreover, the law has this provision already, it just seems it is not enforced. Question 11f states: Have you ever been adjucated mentally defective(which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have been committed to a mental institution?

Green Lantern
April 21, 2007, 11:33 AM
So what happens if someones been diagnosed bipolar? They can no longer obtain a gun?

EXACTLY! My fear with this is, WHERE will they draw the line on what is "mentally ill?"

We give "them" (the antis) an inch and they'll take four miles...

Didn't I hear about the VA forcing veterans who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder to get rid of all their guns if they want treatment from the VA????

VERY glad I couldn't justify (financially) becoming an NRA life member before.

Kentak
April 21, 2007, 11:33 AM
You can be an absolutist and a purist and have someone else's solution imposed on you. Or, you can be part of the process where everybody gains something of what they want.

There are more people who don't care about your gun rights than do. Alienate enough of them to make it *their* single issue and you'll lose more in the long run.

K

Green Lantern
April 21, 2007, 11:49 AM
everybody gains something of what they want.

Yeah, SHORT run everybody gains face.

So whadda we do when "they" decide to re-write "mentally ill" for the purposes of denying someone the right to own a firearm?

Brett Bellmore
April 21, 2007, 11:59 AM
Why is John Dingel not dead to the NRA after his vote for the '94 "assault weapon" ban?

Anyway, put me in the "appeasment" camp" It's "compromise" when you get something in return for something else. We're not getting anything here, it's all give. And when you give some, in return for not having to give more, that's "appeasement" in a nutshell.

And the worst part, is we don't need to appease anybody this time!

Look at the polls: I was listening to NPR yesterday, spinning them like a turbine, and they couldn't find a way to say that this shooting had produced a groundswell in favor of more gun control.

Poll: Nation split on gun control (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070420/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_ap_poll_5)

Though Monday's horrific killings of 32 students and teachers — plus the gunman — were fresh in people's minds, there was scant movement in their attitude toward gun laws. Forty-seven percent said firearm controls should be tightened, 38 percent said they should remain unchanged and 11 percent said they should be loosened — about the same as in a January survey.

Six in 10 women think gun laws should be toughened, nearly double the proportion for men. Fifty-five percent of minorities favor stricter legal requirements, compared with 44 percent of whites.

Public opinion has barely twitched as a result of this!

Folks, the NRA has been on board with the NICS Improvement Bill for years.....this is not news.


Exactly: The NRA has wanted this. And now the NRA thinks they've got the excuse THEY need, to make the membership willing to swallow it.

camacho
April 21, 2007, 12:19 PM
it's all give

It is already given, read form 4473. It is about enforcing it. Are we now for not enforcing existing laws even the good ones. By the same token let's disregard the whole penal law and let everyone run wild on the streets. Why bother?

Brett Bellmore
April 21, 2007, 12:23 PM
Passing a bad law is giving, and passing another law to make the first bad law easier to impliment is giving yet again.

Green Lantern
April 21, 2007, 12:24 PM
It is about enforcing it.

BINGO! Last I checked, you don't need a new law to make people enforce an EXISTING one!

ebd10
April 21, 2007, 12:26 PM
Dingell, it should be noted, referred to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms as "jack-booted thugs" long before NRA vice chairman Wayne LaPierre used such controversial rhetoric in a fund-raising letter.

stevelyn
April 21, 2007, 12:41 PM
Why do I have the sinking feeling that nothing good is going to come out of this unholy alliance and that I'm going to reget spending that $60 on NRA membership? :uhoh: :( :banghead:

LoneCoon
April 21, 2007, 12:50 PM
I think what' they're trying to do is fix the record system that would have prevent someone like Cho from buying a gun in the first place. This is nothing different than what the current law is supposed to be doing in the first place.

Many of you are up in arms about this when you really should be thinking how to use it for the benefit of gun owners. Can we fix a broken system and get something else out of it like National reciprocity for CCL in exchange? Or possibly the 1986 ban dropped? Or one of the other useless pieces of legislation nullified?

Brett Bellmore
April 21, 2007, 01:00 PM
Dingell, it should be noted, referred to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms as "jack-booted thugs" long before NRA vice chairman Wayne LaPierre used such controversial rhetoric in a fund-raising letter.

Yeah, and what was it he called US after we reacted to his vote? A bunch of "Ayatollahs", IIRC. Got a way with words, if not with principles.:rolleyes:

ShelleyB.
April 21, 2007, 01:04 PM
This is simply a baby step towards tightening the noose. "Mental illness" is a vague and broad brush definition that can easily be expanded to selectively or willfully include any individual who has ever been legally prescribed a tranquilizer or sleeping pill, for example. It's too easy for this to get out of hand.

Each alteration is a slight shift toward including more citizens in the net. The definition may not include you this time, but when they need to re-write it to "correct" something, get ready.

Daniel T
April 21, 2007, 01:39 PM
There's a lot of Chicken Little action going on here and not much analytical thought.

If all the bill does is provide funding to get records into NICS that should already be there, what's the problem? No new standards for mental competence are being set. If you were lying on your 4473 before, I guess it's a problem for you.

While we, and the NRA, need to be vigilant about the language of the bill, I don't see the reason for the hysterics here.

Nil
April 21, 2007, 01:56 PM
So all this bill is doing is to require states to keep the NICS records up-to-date with already existing disqualifying factors? If so, I don't see anything wrong with it. As long as nothing new is added and it only stops people who shouldn't be allowed by current laws to purchase guns anyways, what's the big deal?

oldfart
April 21, 2007, 02:13 PM
Everybody seems to be getting their panties in a wad over the possibility that a madman might get his hands on a gun.

So what?

No matter how many carefully worded laws congress passes, regardless of how many local restrictions are in place, in spite of all the metal detectors, door guards, police officers in attendance, it's going to happen anyhow. So instead of helping to grease the shaft, perhaps the NRA should stand up on its hind legs and spit in the eye of McCarthy, Kennedy, Clinton, et al.
Compromise only works when we get something in return and I don't believe scented KY jelly counts.

And JohnBT, I'm still not completely sure McCain ever came all the way back from North Vietnam. My personal opinion is that he's a pretty shakey reed to lean on.

Elza
April 21, 2007, 02:18 PM
Interesting situation to say the least. Two years ago our son (now 18) was diagnosed as bipolar II. He suffers irrational fits of anger and has no business owning a gun. Trust me on this one!! The problem is he refuses to take his medication. It is sad as he is one of the lucky ones that meds will control. It isn’t like the meds make him a zombie. If you didn’t know the situation you would never know that he was taking anything. He just acts normal. But, he has decided that it is “too much of a hassle” to be bothered taking his meds. Now the medical records will show that he is OK as the meds completely control his disorder. Yet, he refuses to take them.

Do we let people like my son have guns that TRULY shouldn’t have them? Do we penalize those like him that take their meds and live completely normal lives? I wish I had an answer for this one.

only1asterisk
April 21, 2007, 02:56 PM
Do we let people like my son have guns that TRULY shouldn’t have them? Do we penalize those like him that take their meds and live completely normal lives? I wish I had an answer for this one.

I have an answer that works for me.

Err on the side of freedom.

David

oldfart
April 21, 2007, 03:17 PM
Err on the side of freedom.


+1

Chui
April 21, 2007, 03:32 PM
Only1* and oldfart have it correct. Shame on those who openly support strengthening the very apparatus that plans to have you totally disarmed during our lifetime... If the quality of thought does not improve quickly you may as well sell them now and use the money for foodstuffs and home upgrades.

camacho
April 21, 2007, 03:46 PM
So what?
You go tell this to the parents of those 32 kids. We all perfectly know that no law can stop a madman, but in this case if the existing law was enforced this could have been prevented.

This has nothing to do about freedom since freedom is not violated. It has to do with enforcing what is already on the books. How come nobody objected before about 11f question on the form if it was about freedom. All of a sudden, denying gun ownership to people like Cho is freedom. Pleaseeee! What about denying pedophiles the right to be teachers in kindergarten? They have freedom too, don't they? If we apply this notion so generous, we might as well just have an anarchy and have serial killers, rapists, and all kind of loonies running wild.

Folks, with all due respect this just does not make sense. Let's not jump the gun here and predict all gloom and doom because NRA is negotiating about enforcing something that at least until this point no one objected against.

Geronimo45
April 21, 2007, 03:56 PM
Sounds like this bill is just making it less likely for gunnies to have bad press. Nice that we avoid bad press - but just what are we getting in return? If you've got a CC permit (in most states), this law don't mean a darned thing to you.
I want something more than just the slight comfort that a registered lunatic won't be able to by a gun from an FFL, especially from the NRA. What freedoms does this bestow on us? None that I can see.
Will they drop the pistol-purchasing age to 18? Abolish the BATFE? End the 'sporting use'/import requirements? Kill the ban on post-86 MGs? Make suppressors easier to buy, with no NFA garbage associated with 'em? Revoke NFA-34? Have tax deductions for ammo costs?

pcosmar
April 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
camacho
You go tell this to the parents of those 32 kids. We all perfectly know that no law can stop a madman, but in this case if the existing law was enforced this could have been prevented.

Not likely, if he wanted to do this he still would have done it. He could have used a bomb. He could have stolen a gun. He could have used an ax.
There was nobody to stop him.

only1asterisk
April 21, 2007, 04:00 PM
You go tell this to the parents of those 32 kids. We all perfectly know that no law can stop a madman, but in this case if the existing law was enforced this could have been prevented.

No, it could not have.

David

RIDE
April 21, 2007, 04:07 PM
It's sad how many people are under the impression that Cho would not have been able to get a gun, had the NICS just caught the court orders, issues, etc...

The fact is criminals, are criminals!!!! If he hadn't been able to get a gun at the gun shop it is BEYOND NAIVE to believe that he wouldn't have just gone and got a gun illegally.

Criminals DO NOT follow the law.
NO amount of NICS revisions is going to stop criminals from getting guns.
NO amount of additional gun control would stop criminals from getting guns.
Increased "gun control" laws will ONLY infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.

F4GIB
April 21, 2007, 04:09 PM
Here in the hinterlands, the LOCAL pro-gun lobbyist ALWAYS asks this question. For twenty years he's been bringing home the bacon because he takes the position that nothing is free. Does NRA know how to "demand" a quid pro quo?
but just what are we getting in return?

camacho
April 21, 2007, 04:10 PM
No, it could not have.

Nobody knows that. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe less people would have died. The bottom line is that Cho should not have been able to legally purchase firearms and it is in the best interest for all of us that the system for legal ownership is not stained. Let's not give more ammo for the anti crowd to badmouth and assault us.

As to perfect crime stopper we all agree that carrying on campus is the best thing.

Chui
April 21, 2007, 04:15 PM
Recall that Christians have been called "mentaly ill" by the Elite just as "patriots" have been called "terrorists" by the same filthy Elite - who just so happen to pretty much own or gov't apparatus. Nothing good will come from this THEY WANT YOU FULLY DISARMED. PERIOD. THEY WILL SEE TO IT AND THEY HOPE THAT YOU "BITE" ON THE INCREMENTALISM THAT THEY FOIST UPON US - GOD KNOWS THE NRA DOES... :rolleyes:

Ratzinger_p38
April 21, 2007, 05:32 PM
Guys read my earlier post (page 2). Am I the kind of person they are looking to prevent from owning guns? What kind of records are they now going to put in the system? Random mental health records? Wouldnt that break privacy laws? I dont want people reading that thing. I know I dont meet the current def, but what about this 'new' definition of 'nutjob'.

PLease guys, someone explain all of this to me.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 05:54 PM
I wish people could or would read the important part: "supply the federal government with information on mental-illness adjudications and other run-ins with the law that are supposed to disqualify individuals from firearms purchases."

"...mental illness adjudications..." That's people who have been in court, where medical professionals have been involved, and the people were found to be dangers to the public. That ties in with "...other run-ins with the law..."

Nothing to do with one's voluntarily seeking counselling or even psychiatric treatment willingly undergone.

The problems with records keeping was a large part of our objections to the original Brady Bill and the NICS check. (At that time, West Virginia's criminal records were said to be less than 50% complete. Other states were below 70%.) Dingell's effort is to try to clean up the records keeping process.

And Lord knows it needs cleaning up...

Art

Ratzinger_p38
April 21, 2007, 06:00 PM
@Art Eatman

Im sorry to be so bothersome, but I would not be in that category would I? Every thing I ever did was volentary. (And the Social Security board turned me down saying I was not even close to being bad enough to need SSI).

I just want to be sure from someone who knows NICS and knows what they are talking about - not just tin foil hat types.

Hypnogator
April 21, 2007, 06:24 PM
Thank you, Art Eatman, for injecting a bit of reality into the paranoid awfulizations that seem to be the norm in this thread.

I, for one, applaud any efforts to make firearms unavailable legally to those who represent an unreasonable risk to society by (1) having been convicted of a felony, or (2) having been ajudicated mentally incompetent.

We seriously need to set a national standard on the recording and filing of felony convictions and mental competency hearings.

camacho
April 21, 2007, 07:05 PM
I, for one, applaud any efforts to make firearms unavailable legally to those who represent an unreasonable risk to society by (1) having been convicted of a felony, or (2) having been ajudicated mentally incompetent.


Amen! I do not think is much to ask but some folks think that this is somehow a bad thing.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 07:06 PM
Voluntarily seekeing professional help for one's mental problems is a wise thing to do. SFAIK, absent a panic-stricken shrink calling the cops because a Jeffrey Dahmer showed up, there are no records anywhere outside his office. Doctor/patient confidentiality. Same for counselors/psychologists who don't have the M.D.

Federal prohibitions speak to court-adjudicated designations of dangerous persons from mental illness, not to mental health patients in general.

A generalization: Mental health patients have more rights nowadays than in the past. Representation by legal counsel wasn't always part of the deal, forty or fifty years back. The system was nowhere near as open. Little by little, legislatures have improved the laws insofar as one's rights and how the system operates. That doesn't mean perfect, of course, but the improvement has been steady.

Art

oldfart
April 21, 2007, 09:27 PM
"This has nothing to do about freedom since freedom is not violated. It has to do with enforcing what is already on the books."

But that's where the problem is: Most (if not all) of the laws already on the books violate our freedom by "infringing" on the right to keep and bear arms. Just because we've become familiar with our fetters doesn't make them flowers.
Now, before everyone jumps up and accuses me of being an anarchist, I know we'll never get those unconstitutional laws repealed but helping congress add more "stuff" to them is just another step down the road to perdition. The NRA always comes up with the old saw about how much worse a law will be if they don't influence the writing of it. How do we know that since they've always had their fingers in the pot - all the way back to NFA-34! Just once I'd like to see them come out and say "No" to the latest pile of excrement to run out from under the Democratic seats in Congress.
That's not likely though, is it? The officers and staff seem to have taken their winning(?) tactics from the French, who believe that 'losing' and 'surrender' are not the same. This "eight hundred pound gorilla" starts every discussion by asking for "compromise." Well, my dictionary has several definitions for that word. Definitions 1, 2 and 3 all deal with concessions by both sides on an issue, which wouldn't be bad if we could get it. The fourth definition reads; "4. a) exposure, as of one's reputation, to danger, suspicion or disrepute b) a weakening, as of one's principles...". It further defines "compromising" thus; "to weaken or give up (one's principle, ideals, etc) for reasons of expediency..."
Others may see it differently, but I believe the NRA has given lip service to the first three definitions while surepticiously embracing the fourth. I have occasionally suggested the NRA leadership is more intent on passing gun control laws than not, further suggesting that if all such laws were suddenly declared unconstitutional most of our revered 'leaders' would be out of a job. As much as I would like to think otherwise it's beginning to look as if I'm right. What would the ILA do if the SCOTUS tossed all those laws?
NRA ILA - 1-800-392-8683. Either do something or unplug your keyboard!

Mumwaldee
April 21, 2007, 10:17 PM
I would like to point out that being diagnosed bipolar is not the same thing as being abjudicated mentally defective. There is a significant difference between somebody who's been diagnosed with a mental illness (which includes a significant portion of the general population) and somebody who's been abjudicated mentally defective. Only people who have been abjudicated mentally defective or involutarily committed are prohibited from owning firearms for mental health reasons.

It's extremely important to keep the focus to the narrow category of people that the law applies to. If you start expanding the laws, then where do you stop? If you start restricting the rights of bipolars, then what about people who were treated for depression? What about people diagnosed with ADD as a child? What about rape victims who sought help for PTSD? Should they never be able to own a firearm?
I totally agree with this. I am bipolar. I also have 2 honorable discharges from different branches of the U.S. military...one being the U.S.M.C during the Gulf war. I have no criminal record...not even a misdemeanor, but if they start refusing me guns it will lead to seizure of guns. This I would not abide.

ShelleyB.
April 21, 2007, 10:25 PM
"SFAIK, absent a panic-stricken shrink calling the cops because a Jeffrey Dahmer showed up, there are no records anywhere outside his office. Doctor/patient confidentiality. Same for counselors/psychologists who don't have the M.D."

Art:

Insurance companies who cover counseling/psychiatric services also have records. Isn't is possible they could be compelled to "share?"

precisionshootist
April 22, 2007, 12:44 AM
Contact NRA and urge them NOT to support this bill. The line in the sand must be drawn now. This legislation simply would not have stopped this tragedy from happening. You are talking about Gov. intrusion on every firearms transaction from now on in the hopes of finding the one in 300 million needle in the haystack nutcase that's about to go off. This was not good enough to pass before and it's not needed now. This is an excuse to pass any and all gun legislation possible. IT WILL BE ABUSED. No more gun laws PERIOD.

Rant off

Daniel T
April 22, 2007, 02:56 AM
People, if you're going to make paranoid rants, please at least address them to the actual issue at hand instead of randomly making something up to rant about.

ALL THIS BILL WOULD DO IS GIVE FUNDING TO STATES TO COMPLETE THE INPUT OF RECORDS INTO NICS WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE ALREADY.

That's it. No new classes of prohibited persons, no privacy barriers being removed, none of that.

only1asterisk
April 22, 2007, 03:24 AM
That is not exactly true. You have to read it more closely.

Bartholomew Roberts:
However, if you look at Section 102(c)(1)(A), it says "shall make electronically available to the Attorney General records relevant to a determination of whether a person is disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm" - you could interpret this to mean that anything that helps the state determine whether or not you are a prohibited person must be included.

Decide for yourself what the future is for this.

David

Waitone
April 22, 2007, 04:33 AM
Evidently the gun lobby is perceived to be very strong by both parties. If not, we could expect democrats and a few republicans square dancing in the blood of VT victims. Ain't happening this time around. Democrats are intent on regaining power in '08 and a key part of that is to silence pro-gun forces. Republicans are doing whatever the hell it is republicans do.

So if pro-gun forces are in such a strong position why is the debate over how much of the fleece to shave off. Why are we not using our evidently strong position? In short, how come we are not seeing a full court press to rollback bad, or ineffectual, or unconstitutional law. I may be persuaded changes to the instant check system may be in order. I will be in a better mood to support changes if I see a significant roll back in objectional legislation. Start with the sporting purposes clause, move on to national CCH, then conclude by removing suppressors from the verboten list.

only1asterisk
April 22, 2007, 04:46 AM
Waitone,

The Democrats are waiting for the election. They know that a gun control push now could weaken them with the voters that gave them Congress in 2006. They know if they wait 20months they will be able to do whatever they want. That is why the coordinated, UNIVERSAL backing off the gun control issue. Like the water retreating from the bay before a tsunami.

David

dave_pro2a
April 22, 2007, 07:09 AM
+1

ProficientRifleman
April 22, 2007, 08:30 AM
help them supply the federal government with information on mental-illness adjudications and other run-ins with the law that are supposed to disqualify individuals from firearms purchases.

Adjudication is the key word here. Anything other than that will compromising again. If the NRA allows or supports anything more than the NICS having access to adjudications (which it is already supposed to do), they will be stabbing us in the back again by compromise.

Mumwaldee
April 22, 2007, 01:30 PM
I can't see any compromise on this. Soon, anyone wanting to buy a firearm would be required to get an evaluation from some psychologist. Having the Attorney General look over my medical records (who is no doubt capable of judging a person's mental capacity because of his years of training) seems very big brotherish to me.

All this filing and record keeping will just make it easier to find your house when they finally do want to come for your guns.

LAR-15
April 22, 2007, 03:39 PM
ALL THIS BILL WOULD DO IS GIVE FUNDING TO STATES TO COMPLETE THE INPUT OF RECORDS INTO NICS WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE ALREADY.

That's it. No new classes of prohibited persons, no privacy barriers being removed, none of that.

Show me a copy of this bill.

It hasn't been drafted yet.

camacho
April 22, 2007, 09:10 PM
I can't see any compromise on this. Soon, anyone wanting to buy a firearm would be required to get an evaluation from some psychologist.

I think that's a bit far fetched plus nothing in the article that was posted talks about psycho evaluations just adjudications which at the present time are disqualifying factor. Believing or suggesting that NRA will sign off on something like this is just naive. I think we should all take a step back and monitor this carefully. My stance is that if it is only dealing with reporting adjudications then from my perspective this is a no issue. Those are in the current law anyways. If there are some other provisions that expand the criteria rather than enforce a current one, then it is a different story.

JohnBT
April 22, 2007, 09:16 PM
"Show me a copy of this bill. It hasn't been drafted yet."

Well of course we haven't seen the final revisions, that's what they're working on. The bill has been around for years.

From the first post in the thread:

"The legislation, drafted several years ago by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), has twice passed the House, only to die in the Senate."

Bartholomew Roberts
April 22, 2007, 09:19 PM
With all due respect, Bart...

I realize this is easy for me to say, but I want my rights over safety. I would rather Cho or anybody not locked up to be able to exercise all of their rights -- without prior restraint or chilling effect, just like the 1A rights -- than to give up some of my rights in the mere prospect of safety.

Well, the right you would be giving up in this scenario is the right to purchase a firearm after a court had declared you a danger to yourself or others in a formal hearing where you would have counsel present.

In a healthy and fair system, that isn't a right that I even want to have for myself. The question to me is whether our system is a fair one or a healthy one? Right now, I'd be inclined to say it isn't perfect by a longshot; but it does a fair job of not arbitrarily restricting rights because of unfair use of mental illness.

However, I think there is clearly a huge danger here. The definitions of "adjudicated mentally defective" are defined by federal regulations (not Congressional law) so the definition is one that could change without Congress passing a single law. The powers already established by existing legislation could be abused on a massive scale and updating the database that would enable that abuse to be even more effective is something you have to feel a bit queasy about.

Occasional danger from a Cho-type person is the price of freedom.

That view seems to take the position that either Cho must be locked up or he must be free with all the same rights as other men. In the area of mental illness, I don't know that having such a stark contrast in choices is good. It means that either people who are marginal and probably not a threat will be locked up out of fear or people who are mentally ill beyond question will be able to obtain a firearm.

From a personal viewpoint, I can see arguments for both sides. From a practical politics angle, opposing this legislation is walking into a political ambush. Our opponents would love nothing better than for us to pressure the NRA into opposing this legislation. It allows them to paint the NRA in the worst possible light in terms that even most gun owners will find indefensible. Finally, it is a risk that we don't need to take. Despite bipartisan backing and support from both the NRA and Brady Campaign and passing the Republican-led House twice, this bill has gone nowhere for five years running now. Clearly the bill has some deep problems. The NRA can safely support this legislation because the probability it will die regardless of what they do. Think about all the nasty anti-NRA articles that can't be written now because of their past support of this bill.

Brett Bellmore
April 22, 2007, 10:17 PM
all This Bill Would Do Is Give Funding To States To Complete The Input Of Records Into Nics Which Should Have Been There Already.

You're Assuming We All Think Nics Was A Good Idea.

oldfart
April 22, 2007, 10:20 PM
"I think we should all take a step back and monitor this carefully."

When I was a kid my grandfather would take me to the beach while he would dig clams. The best tides always seemed to be in the mornings and on the weekends too. Invariably, people would come out to walk on the beach after Church, wearing their best Sunday clothes. The kids loved to chase the waves as they'd wash up onto the sand and then retreat only to advance again. No matter how careful they were, sooner or later some little kid would get his or her feet wet in the cold water.
Helping to write gun-control bills is a bit like running at those waves: Sooner or later someone is going to misjudge the tide and their Sunday shoes are going to get ruined. If Wayne, Chris and the rest at Wamples Mill want to take a chance on getting their feet wet I say we divorce them from the rest of the NRA 'cause I prefer dry feet.
I certainly see nothing wrong with monitoring this bill but I see nothing good coming from helping write it. If we're going to talk about messages sent and received, we need to pay some attention to the messages received by the NRA membership. After all, they (we) are the ones picking up the tab. And if by some fluke the bill should be signed into law we'd have a much bigger problem than we do now.

Oohrah
April 22, 2007, 11:22 PM
Nothing said of the slick way they used domestic violence charges
that mostly no firearms are:banghead: involved to losing ownership, lifetime. Sometimes
falsely accussed can lead to the loss of gun rights. If in law enforce-
ment, you lose your job and rights. If mental evaluation to purchase
is law, probably the begining of the end. Would consider a data bank
for convicted mental health people, but not a proof of stability for ownership.
No matter what law could be passed, a determined nut will find a way
by gun, knife, ball bat, or bomb. Once again the responsible gun owner
will pay the price with one more law to finalized the elimination of firearms
if they can.

Cellar Dweller
April 23, 2007, 12:48 AM
NICS, by just about everyone's admission, doesn't work. Somehow, by throwing more money at the problem, it'll be fixed. Problems:

1. this isn't "free" money, it has to come from somewhere...higher fees for background checks? Ammo tax?
2. if you think private party sales WON'T be made illegal (only criminals would want to bypass the new and improved NICS, what are you trying to hide?), you must also believe the solution to any government-defined problem is more money. Probably not in this bill, but it will pass eventually.
3. When the fully-funded NICS fails to prevent some future incident, even MORE restrictions will be called for, like adding new definitions to "mental illness."

Sounds like the definition of insanity, all right.

Oh, the "compromise" is that you get to keep your guns for a while. NRA 4tehwin1!!!1!!!

JohnBT
April 23, 2007, 09:24 AM
"Think about all the nasty anti-NRA articles that can't be written now because of their past support of this bill."

Do you mean in the newspapers or on THR? ;)

John

camacho
April 23, 2007, 02:39 PM
From a practical politics angle, opposing this legislation is walking into a political ambush. Our opponents would love nothing better than for us to pressure the NRA into opposing this legislation. It allows them to paint the NRA in the worst possible light in terms that even most gun owners will find indefensible.

Bingo, very well said. Could not agree more with that. Try to explain the regular Joe that preventing a person like Cho from legally getting guns is bad idea. This will go very well with the general population. I can already see the headlines in the media. If this does not turn off vast majority of the electorate I do not know what.

This is indeed an issue of "practical politics", and whether you like it or not the NRA is the best we have when it comes to playing the political game.

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