Home Nonviolent defense Lawmakers want state control of gun sales background checks | Government and politics

Lawmakers want state control of gun sales background checks | Government and politics


DOVER, Delaware (AP) — Delaware lawmakers have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make state law enforcement officials responsible for background checks for gun purchases.

A bill tabled Friday would resurrect Delaware’s gun transaction approval program, which was eliminated more than a decade ago when lawmakers voted to rely on the national instant gun verification system. federal government criminal history, or NICS.

The vote came amid concerns that Delaware’s background check system could provide NICS with information about people with mental illness who are prohibited from buying or owning firearms. The bill authorized state agencies to provide this information to NICS, created a federally mandated program allowing people previously deemed mentally ill to restore their eligibility for firearms ownership, and abolished the system. State’s existing background check as redundant.

Lawmakers now want to return responsibility for background checks of gun transactions in Delaware to the state’s Bureau of Identification. The SBI would be the point of contact between arms dealers and federal databases verified by the FBI. The SBI would thus become responsible for determining whether a person is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under federal or state law, and would be able to search other databases other than NICS to make this decision.

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“Reinstating FTAP will help us identify people who would otherwise be banned but may have been missed by NICS, such as someone convicted of a domestic violence offense,” said Larry Mitchell, the project’s lead sponsor. law, in a press release. “This will make our background check system stronger and more thorough and provide more protection for residents.”

Proponents of the bill also note that anyone with an outstanding warrant is prohibited from purchasing a firearm, but the NICS only identifies those for whom extradition through the state borders is sought, to the exclusion of the vast majority of misdemeanor warrants. FTAP would be able to check local databases to identify these people.

Legislation requires that the new FTAP system be operational within one year of the bill’s enactment.

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