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Below The Radar: The NICS Review Act

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Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president's comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)
Millions of law-abiding citizens submit to background checks, as intimated by the president’s comment to reporters. (Dave Workman)

United States – -( The National Instant Check System has been a point of contention among Second Amendment supporters since the passage of the Brady Act in 1993. Some view it as an infringement and a “compromise.” Others viewed it as averting a far worse situation.

It goes without saying that at a bare minimum, the system clearly needs fixes, and the Firearm Due Process Protection Act is something that should be passed as soon as possible. But anti-Second Amendment extremists have hated the National Instant Check System, too. Why?

Because, despite claims they made at the time, it was never about background checks. At a minimum, many anti-Second Amendment extremists ultimately want a “needs-based” licensing scheme. In other words, you would need to prove to the government that you needed to own a certain gun. At which point, they would deign to grant you the license to own said firearm.

So, they have their own “fixes” in mind for NICS, and they are not along the lines Second Amendment supporters would like. One of those proposing a “NICS fix” that makes things worse is Representative Carolyn Maloney, who’s introduced HR 821, the NICS Review Act.

The NICS Review Act is intended to start the process of turning NICS into a registration system. Under current law, information on transactions that have not been denied is to be destroyed within 24 hours. The intent is to preserve the privacy of Americans who choose to exercise a constitutional right. Maloney has talked about privacy before and it has been a big deal for her on other issues.

But with the NICS Review Act, she wants the FBI to hold on to data about non-denied firearms transactions for at least 90 days. That is a huge change on two counts. One, the FBI can retain the records for much longer, almost three months. That’s bad enough for all sorts of mischief, and Maloney’s long anti-Second Amendment track record points to a desire to at least enable mischief targeting our rights.

But the real slick move on Maloney’s part is that she has now made the 90-day period a floor, instead of a limit. In short, the FBI could retain the records as long as they want. This makes her bill extremely dangerous, and it is an excellent tactical move on her part. She can paint this as a minor bill, and paint opposition to it as “those Second Amendment types being unreasonable.” But combine that change with “universal background checks” and a little bad faith, and all of a sudden, you now can create a national registry of firearms transactions with the stroke of an anti-Second Amendment president’s pen.

Second Amendment supporters need to contact their Representative and Senators to politely urge that they oppose this bill. They also need to take the time and use this bill to explain to their fellow Americans why anti-Second Amendment extremists aren’t really proposing “reasonable” solutions.

About Harold HutchisonHarold 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,, and other national websites.

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  • pohknee

    Does anyone really think the FBI and Government agencies destroy the purchase data on weapons when a NIC check is conducted, or Concealed Carry Licenses are issued? Or, Do you believe that retail outlets EVER get rid of sales data. If you do you are a true fool, The only purpose of the NIC and retail arms dealers is to collect data and extablish a national database. Don’t be stupid and realize what is going on here and has been for some time. If and when they ever try to collect weapons, you can be assured they will show up with a Government print out of everything you have ever bought even if you sold the items twenty years ago. We have a lot of nincompoops and brain dead people in this country including Joe Biden. Don’t add to it and wake up. SELL whatever weapons you have purchased and buy some on the street.

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