Bill would ease gun info-sharing

As the nation's capital region reeled from sniper attacks, the House passed legislation to make it easier for states to share information with a federal database of people prohibited from owning guns.

The legislation was approved unanimously Oct. 15 as law enforcement officials continued their manhunt for the sniper who has terrorized the Washington, D.C., area.

The legislation requires states and federal agencies to provide the FBI with all relevant records to conduct a criminal background check.

The bill establishes a nationwide grant program to state law enforcement agencies and state courts to automate and transmit records to be included in the federal instant background check database. The bill would provide more than $1 billion during the next three years to help states get records into a database.

Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.), who represents the area in suburban Maryland that was the site of several of the shootings, said authorities don't know how the sniper got a high-powered gun.

But, she said, "Ten thousand people who shouldn't have, got guns because of incomplete records. We don't know if this depraved killer would be 10,001."

The bill now moves to the Senate, where supporters hope it will pass before Congress recesses in advance of the November election.

With the mood in Congress grim over the sniper attacks, lawmakers as diverse as Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who has been a leading foe of expanded gun control laws, and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), a National Rifle Association board member, support the legislation.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.