E-mail April 9, 2013
Thank you for contacting me about gun control legislation.
In the wake of the tragic December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a surge in the introduction of congressional legislation attempting to address gun violence. A ban on assault weapons, restrictions on ammunition and magazines, and increased background check requirements have all been proposed.
As you may know, I support the Second Amendment, and I do not believe our society needs more laws restricting gun ownership. What we really need is to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, while ensuring that those who break existing laws are fully prosecuted.
To that end, I do not support universal background checks, which would be extremely costly, create further delays for those eligible to buy guns, and apply to private transfers between family members, friends, neighbors, and even firearms passed down through wills. I do support making the existing background check system more effective in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. For example, many states and federal agencies are not providing the required disqualifying records of individuals barred from buying guns to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which checks the names and records of would-be gun buyers to determine if they may possess a firearm. For this reason, I am an original cosponsor of S. 480, the NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013, which would require states and federal agencies to report individuals involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, those incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case, and those found not guilty by reason of insanity – among others. NICS. S. 480 was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on March 6, 2013. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where it is awaiting further action.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website, which may be found at flake.senate.gov.
United States Senator
Photo: Kelo Henderson “Pyramid of the Sun God” 1965