Leading gun rights groups are contesting President Obama’s executive action, yet, his plan implements concepts they routinely push. The focus of Obama’s plan is to overhaul the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and improve the enforcement of federal gun laws.
The background check system
Both the NRA and NSSF have long criticized NICS for incomplete record keeping and lack of accessibility. Obama’s plan would reform the system to ensure thoroughness by requiring states to report complete criminal records to the system, and assist the agency tasked with managing NICS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, by digitizing files and doubling the workforce. With an additional 230 employees, the system would operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
In its response, the NSSF said it supports further resources being allocated to NICS staffing and increasing operational hours. The lobby launched a similar effort in 2013 to improve the system, the FixNICS program, with the stated goal of improving how states report criminal records.
However, the two plans differ in that the NSSF pushes to incentivize the system by awarding grants to states that comply because, it says, the feds cannot legally require them to do so, according to the program’s website. Other than directives from the U.S. Attorney General, it’s unclear in Obama’s plan how the feds will require states to reform their processes.
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