A bipartisan group of 167 members of Congress are requesting a minimum of $75 million in funding for the National Instant Background Checks Systems Improvement Amendments Act. 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says the bill gives grants to states seeking to upgrade their electronic databases and to ensure critical information, like mental health records and domestic violence restraining orders, is available for the NICS system.
Esty says the NICS Improvement Amendments Act has been severely underfunded in years past, and keeping citizens safe should be Congress's top priority. She notes that over the past 20 years, the system has helped stopped 2.6 million sales of guns to people like felons, the dangerously mentally ill and domestic abusers.
Since 1995, Connecticut has received more than $16 million in National Criminal History Improvement Program grants. These grants support the state’s efforts to maintain complete and accurate criminal history records for the purposes of background checks.
CT Against Gun Violence Executive Director Ron Pinciaro says the number of statewide homicides dropped to 53 in 2016, the lowest number in recent history. He says no single law has been more instrumental in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people than the Brady Background check bill. He added that no bill has been more significant in bolstering the Brady bill than the NICS Improvement Act.