Below The Radar: NICS Denial Notification Act of 2021
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Some laws are easy to see as bad news. Take, for instance, the Sabika Sheikh Firearms Licensing and Registration Act pushed by Sheila Jackson Lee. Others, like the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act, are clearly good pieces of legislation that should be moved forward. But not all bills are as easy to call as those two.
One such bill is S 675, the NICS Denial Notification Act of 2021. While the primary sponsor, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) doesn’t have a good track record on Second Amendment issues, some of the co-sponsors, like Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), and James Lankford (R-OK) have decent, if not spectacular, records of protecting our rights. Then again, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) also is among the co-sponsors, and she introduced a licensing and registration scheme.
Now, in an ideal world, the National Instant Background Check System, or NICS, would not be around.
We could acquire firearms and not go through a background check, or deal with a licensing scheme. Heck, we’d even be able to order direct from the manufacturer. We’re not in an ideal world, though, and contrary to what some would have you believe, we can’t get to ideal overnight. Even if the Supreme Court rules our way on not just New York’s carry permit scheme, but on New Jersey’s magazine ban, in many ways, the real fight for our rights would just be starting.
Remember, in 1993, the real choice was whether or not there would be a permanent waiting period on handguns or not. NICS was one of the least bad outcomes possible. There was an amendment to have NICS override all state waiting periods, but it didn’t pass. That is how bad things were in 1993.
Today, we are also in some hostile terrain, though not as bad as 1993, we still lack the firewall we had in 2013 after the Sandy Hook shooting which was pro-Second Amendment leadership in a chamber of Congress.
The real question now, is, “What do we do with the situation we are in?”
S 675 calls for state and local law enforcement to be notified if someone who is prohibited under 18 USC 922(g) is flagged by NICS for potential prosecution under state laws. In one sense, it is easy to see the figurative “red flags” that could be in this sort of provision. The effort to expand how many people fall into one prohibited category or another is worth considering. Another is the risk of a false alarm. Finally, it seems to foist enforcement of the law onto states, when there are also federal laws that could be used.
On the flip side, we should insist that those gun laws that must be maintained should be enforced in a fair and even-handed manner. Plus, we have heard so much from some politicians about how many people were denied. This bill does provide the opportunity to see just how much of this is blowing smoke up our butts. The bill requires the FBI to provide a report to Congress on those denials and the reports to local law enforcement.
In one sense, shedding light on how many denials are “false positives” or for people who made mistakes, but have turned their lives around, or even for those whose crimes don’t involve violence could be a spur for reforming the laws in a pro-liberty direction. In addition, this bill could be a way to get some Senators to agree not to oppose cloture for a bill like the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act or national reciprocity.
This is a case where Second Amendment supporters need to review the text of the legislation, talk it over with others, and then draw their own conclusion whether to support or oppose it. In addition, they need to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.