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Danbury's Esty Applauds Increased Funding For Criminal Background Checks

U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-Danbury) commended a $14.5 million increase in funding for the NICS.
U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-Danbury) commended a $14.5 million increase in funding for the NICS. Photo Credit: File

DANBURY, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Danbury) commended a $14.5 million increase in funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System included in the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015.

The bill includes $73 million total for NICS.

In May, Esty introduced a bipartisan amendment with Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) to increase funding for the NICS. Esty’s amendment would increase funding for NICS to meet the growing demand from states for financial assistance in updating the database.

“Our current NICS system has incomplete data, allowing felons, people convicted of domestic abuse, and other restricted individuals to illegally buy firearms. This increase in NICS funding will go a long way in making sure that states have the resources they need to compile thorough, accurate data,” said Esty.

“While I strongly believe we need to expand background checks to cover all commercial gun sales, at the very least, we need to make sure the current background system we have in place works. Today’s effort reflects continued bipartisan support for the background check system, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to keep our children and our communities safe from gun violence,” continued the congresswoman.

NICS is the database states utilize to determine if individuals are ineligible to purchase a firearm because they are a felon, a domestic abuser or seriously mentally ill.

Esty, a vice chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, is a cosponsor of the comprehensive background check bill, H.R. 1565, to expand background checks to all commercial gun sales.

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