June 12, 2015 – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the below statement today on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s passage of the Fiscal Year FY2016 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill, which was passed free of any new special interest gun policy riders, which were included in the House-passed version of the bill.
However, the FY 2016 bill decreases funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) by $18 million below the FY2015 enacted level and does not include increased funding for the ATF, instead maintaining level funding at the FY15 level. Congresswoman Giffords and Capt. Kelly’s statement:
“We are pleased to see that members of the Senate Appropriations Committee chose not to saddle this critical bill with any new special interest gun riders, which make it harder to enforce existing federal gun laws. But it is disappointing to see that this bill fails to make the investments that will give law enforcement the necessary tools to crack down on the illegal gun trade and ensure convicted felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill don’t have easy access to guns. Our national background check system is only as good as the records of the dangerous people that it contains – but thousands of records are missing, making it easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns. We urge House and Senate conference negotiators to strip the special interest gun riders included in the House version from the final bill and include $73 million in funding for our criminal background check system.
“There is a lot more that can be done to fix our broken broken background check system – including closing the loopholes that allows dangerous people to buy guns without a background check or any questions asked. Americans for Responsible Solutions will continue to fight for closing these loopholes and making our communities safer from gun violence.”