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Background Checks

January 16, 2011 by USA Post 

Background Checks, The shooter Tucson, Jared Loughner, had a history of drug arrests, drug abuse and mental health problems. He was nevertheless able to pass a background check federal and buy the Glock pistol and large capacity magazines he used to kill six people and seriously injuring 13 others. Why? Because the system background check federal deficiencies and chronic lack of funding – even if Congress and President George W. Bush has reformed the program after the massacre at Virginia Tech.

The fire in Arizona offers the latest example of serious flaws in the system. Under federal law, drug users and addicts are prohibited from buying guns. Loughner was arrested for drug possession in 2007 and rejected by enlisting the U.S. military in 2008 after admitting drug use usual. Less than a year later, he passed a background check and bought a shotgun. If the system had worked and the files were available to demonstrate drug offenses Loughner and abuse, he failed to background check.

This is not the first time the failure to obtain and retain relevant documents in the National Instant Criminal background Check System (NICS) has a dangerous person to pass through crack in the law. On April 16, 2007, Cho Seung-Hui shot 32 people at Virginia Tech before taking his own life. Cho was deemed a danger to himself by a special judge of Montgomery County General District Court on December 14, 2005. Therefore, under federal law, Cho could not buy a firearm. But the story of his mental health problem are not in the NICS system because the general practice at the time was not to submit involuntary hospitalization orders for mental health, even if external commands are also disqualifying under federal law.

In the wake of Virginia Tech, there was a national consensus to require better communication of mental health records to NICS system, and Congress responded. Less than two months after the shooting, the House unanimously passed the NICS Improvement Act Amendments of 2007, which created incentives for states to improve reporting of mental health information in the system of background checks. The Senate passed an amended bill, again unanimously, later this year. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law Jan. 8, 2008.

The number of NICS mental health issues has increased dramatically under the new law, but it is much more to do:

There were 298,571 mental health records at the end of 2006.
There were 1,107,758 records of mental health at the end of 2010.
The best available estimates indicate that more than 1,000,000 of mental health records are still missing, like millions of other folders on different types of buyers prohibited.

Some states have made dramatic progress:

According to the latest data available specific to the state – that of March 31, 2010 – three states have introduced more than 100 000 documents:
California: 256,106, an increase of 21 files at the end of 2006.
New York: 154,962, an increase of 1 record at the end of 2006.
Virginia: 139,185, an increase of 78,478 records at the end of 2006.
Arizona has also made progress:
Arizona filed 5036 cases, from zero at the end of 2006.

Yet many states have made little or no progress reports largely because Congress has not followed through funding. Federal ownership have paid only 5.3% of the amount authorized in fiscal 2009 through fiscal year 2011:

Fiscal Year
Authorized Amount
Actual Appropriations

Fiscal 2009
And 187.5 million
And 10 million (5.3%)

The fiscal 2010
And 375 million
And 20 million (5.3%)

FY 2011
And 375 million
And 20 million * (5.3%)

* Standing Resolution funded NICS Improvement Act program in FY10. FY11 appropriations legislation was not adopted.

In part because of chronic underfunding, ten states have still not reported as those of the mentally ill in ENV: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Eighteen states most and the District of Columbia still have fewer than 100 people registered as mentally ill in ENV: Iowa, Utah, Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, North Carolina South, New Jersey, Kentucky, Montana, Wyoming, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oregon and South Dakota.

Millions of documents are still missing. On December 31, 2011, only 2,092 persons are registered as drug abusers or addicts ENV.

For more information, please read the letter from the coalition calling for full funding of the NICS Improvement Act: http://mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/nics_letter_support_3_12_10.pdf

Available for interviews

Edgar Domenech, former ATF Deputy who led the investigation VA Tech and current New York City Sheriff
John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief advisor on New York Mayor Michael for policy and strategic planning
Arkadi Gerney, Special Advisor to Mayor Bloomberg on gun policy and the staff of mayors against illegal guns

About mayors against illegal guns

Since its inception in April 2006, the mayors against illegal guns from 15 to over 550 mayors. Mayors against illegal guns brought together mayors from around the nation these common objectives: the protection of their communities by holding offenders Firearms and irresponsible arms dealers accountable, demanding access to monitoring data which is essential to law enforcement efforts to fight against the trafficking of illegal weapons, and work with legislators to fill some gaps, weaknesses and loopholes that make it too easy for criminals and other buyers for prohibited weapons.

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