What does the FIX NICS Act do?
The “FIX NICS Act” aims to increase state compliance with and improve the accuracy of existing background check systems for firearm purchases. It would ensure that federal and state authorities comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill also penalizes federal agencies that fail to properly report relevant records and incentivizes states to improve their overall reporting. It also directs more federal funding to the accurate reporting of domestic violence records.
If all 50 states report up to the NICS database, child care employees will no longer have to seek a separate background check from states they have lived in during the last five years as the federal database will cover that check.
Provisions under the bill would include:
- Requiring federal agencies and states to produce plans to ensure that all information that would bar a person from buying a firearm under current law is uploaded to the NICS background check system; these plans would include measures to verify the accuracy of records;
- Holding federal agencies accountable if they fail to upload relevant records to the background check system — failure would result in prohibiting bonus pay for political appointees;
- Increasing accountability and rewarding states that comply with their NICS implementation plans with federal grant preferences and incentives;
- Reauthorizing and improving law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS;
- Creating a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure states have adequate resources and incentives to share all relevant information with NICS showing that a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from purchasing firearms under current law.