Massachusetts Republicans Urge Congress to Reauthorize Background Check System

BOSTON – Massachusetts House and Senate Republicans are calling on Congress to reauthorize the National Criminal Instant Background Check System as a first step towards addressing gun violence.

The state Republican Caucuses have sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to schedule one of three pending bills known as the “Fix NICS Act of 2017.”

The “Fix NICS” bills would amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act by requiring federal agencies and departments to provide the NICS with information on individuals who would be prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm, and to certify the information’s accuracy.

The bills also call for the U.S. Department of Justice to develop an implementation plan designed to maximize states’ participation and compliance in submitting mental health and criminal history records to the NICS.

“Recent school shootings, including the one that took place February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have underscored the need to review our country’s laws to determine what steps can be taken to enhance public safety,” legislators wrote. “The bills referenced above each represent a proactive approach to addressing gun violence by strengthening federal background checks.”

State Representative Will Crocker (R-Centerville) was one of the three-dozen state legislators who signed the letter.

Crocker said the bills “represent another important step in amending, expanding, and strengthening legislation that could be agreeable on both sides of the isle.”

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