Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

April 19, 2013


Section by Section Summary



Section by Section


SEC. 101. Short title.

SEC. 102. Findings. Congress supports and defends the rights to keep and bear arms under the Second

Amendment; Congress reaffirms prohibition of a national firearms registry; Congress believes the

Department of Justice (DOJ) should prosecute violations of background check requirements to the

fullest extent of the law; DOJ should make it a top priority to work with States to input missing records

into the NICS system.

SEC. 103. Rule of Construction. This section clearly states that the bill does not (1) expand the

authority or jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and (2) allow for

the creation or establishment of a national registry.

SEC. 104. Severability. Makes clear that if any part of this bill is held by a court to be invalid, the

remainder of the bill is not affected and remains in effect.

SUBTITLE A—Ensuring That All Individuals Who Should be Prohibited from Buying a Gun are

Listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

SEC. 111. Reauthorization of the National Criminal History Records Improvements Program.

• Reauthorizes the NCHIP grant program to ensure states have the funds necessary to improve and

automate criminal record repositories and send those records to the federal government’s

criminal record repositories.

• Authorizes $100,000,000. a year for fiscal years 2014-2017.

SEC. 112. Improvement of Metrics and Incentives.

• 112(b)(1) creates a new requirement that states that wish to apply for grant funding must submit

a four year plan to ensure that all records are searchable by the NICS database.

• 112(b)(2) requires that each plan include annual benchmarks in which the Attorney General can

assess the implementation of each state’s plan.

• 112(b)(3) creates new penalties for failing to meet the annual benchmarks established by each

state’s individual action plan.

o (A) If a state fails to meet an annual benchmark for any of the four years they would lose

a certain amount of their Byrne/JAG (crime bill) funding. The penalties would be as


Year 1 10% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 2 11% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 3 13% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 4 15% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

o (B) If a state chose to not submit a plan, they would be penalized as if they failed their

benchmark in each of the four years.

SEC. 113. Grants to States for Improvement of Coordination and Automation of NICS Record


• 113(a) the bipartisan NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-180)

established a grant program for states to improve the submission of records to the NICS

database. This section combines two duplicative grant programs to allow states, state court

systems, or Indian tribal governments to apply for funding to improve the submission of records

of persons prohibited from owning a gun to the NICS database.

• 113(b) the grants can be used to:

1) carry out an assessment of the needs of a state or state court system,

2) implement procedures for the automation and submission of records of prohibited persons,

3) create electronic systems to allow for the submission of records of prohibited persons,

4) allow states to perform their own background checks,

5) develop and maintain relief from disability programs.

• 113(c) requires that states that wish to apply for grants must be allowed to submit records to the

NICS database and, within two years of passage, implement a relief from disability program.

• 113(d) ensures that all grant funding is spent to get records into the NICS system. It requires

states to provide three matching dollars for every federal dollar for a study.

• 113(e) allows for up to 5% of the total available funding to be used for Indian tribal


• 113(f) authorizes $100,000,000 for FY 2014 through 2017. This is $25 million less than the

previous authorization.

SEC. 114. Relief from Disabilities Program.

Creates penalties if a state does not implement a relief from disability (which is a way to get a person out

of the NICS system) program. These penalties begin two years after enactment of the bill and are

detailed below:

SEC. 115. Additional Protections for Our Veterans. This section requires a veteran who is

adjudicated as mentally defective to receive extra due process prior to losing his right to buy a gun.

• 115(a)(a) requires that prior to the Veterans Administration submitting a record of a veteran who

has been adjudicated as mentally defective, the veteran shall have a 30 day window to appeal the

decision and the record shall not be submitted until the appeal is decided.

• 115(a)(b) requires that the Veterans Administration notify a veteran prior to the thirty day

window that he has the opportunity to appeal the decision and the implication of being

considered adjudicated as mentally defective.

• 115(a)(c) requires that the VA either establish or designate a board for the purposes of hearing

appeals by veterans who are considered adjudicated as mentally defective but believe they have

Year 1 10% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 2 11% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 3 13% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

Year 4 15% of Total Byrne/JAG funding

the ability to safely use, carry, possess, or store a firearm. A veteran can either appeal the

decision to this board or to a court of competent jurisdiction.

• 115(a)(d) allows a veteran to appeal the decision by the special VA board established above to a

Federal court of competent jurisdiction.

• 115(a)(e) requires the VA to send notice to every veteran who is currently considered

adjudicated as mentally ill that specifies their options if they wish to own a gun.

• 115(a)(f) requires the Secretary to review all the polices of the VA to ensure that people who

voluntarily turns over management of his or her finances would not be considered a prohibited


• 115(c) states that the provisions in this subsection shall only apply after the enactment of this


SEC. 116. Clarification that Federal court information is to be made available to the National

Instant Criminal Background Check System.

• The bill clarifies that federal courts must report to NICS the names of people sent to diversionary

programs who qualify as prohibited gun purchasers.

SEC. 117. Clarification that Submission of Mental Health Records to the National Instant

Criminal Background Check System is Not Prohibited by the Health Insurance Portability and

Accountability Act.

• Adds clarification of current law that HIPPA does not prohibit submission of mental health to


SEC. 118. Publication of NICS Index Statistics.

• This bill requires the Attorney General to publish the NICS statistics on a public website twice a


SEC. 119. Effective Date.

• This part of the bill will take effect 180 days after enactment.

SUBTITLE B—Providing a Responsible and Consistent Background Check Process.

SEC. 121. Purpose. The purpose of the bill is to enhance the current background check system and

ensure that criminals and the mentally ill are not able to purchase firearms.

SEC. 122. Firearms Transfers.

• 122(a)(1), (2), and (3) simply clean up existing code, removing now-defunct (s), replacing it with

the current background check law (currently (t)), and making the private sales background check

law in this bill the new (t).

o 122(a)(3)(A)(iii)(iii) requires that NICS must finalize a background check within 48

hours for the first four years after passage of the bill. If the background check is not

finished, the sale may proceed.

o 122(a)(3)(A)(iii)(iv) requires that after four years, NICS has 24 hours to finalize a

background check.

o 122(a)(3)(C)(8) continues the current requirement that the FBI must provide NICS for


o 122(a)(3)(C)(9) says that NICS must prioritize checks that come from a gun show over

those checks that occur from a dealer.

• 122(a)(4) creates the background check requirement for commercial sellers.

o (t)(1) prohibits transfers between private sellers (i.e. persons who are not federally

licensed) at (A) a gun show or (B) if the sale was advertised on the internet or in a news

publication. These types of transactions would require private sellers to visit a licensed

firearms dealer to run the necessary background check before the gun sale is finalized,

and the dealer would perform the check as though the gun were in the dealer’s own


o (t)(2) Exempts certain transfers from the above prohibition.

• (A) The types of commercial transactions listed in (t)(1) would require private

sellers to visit a licensed firearms dealer to run the necessary background check

before the gun sale is finalized, and the dealer would perform the check as though

the gun were in the dealer’s own inventory. There would continue to be an

exemption for those with a concealed carry permit.

• (B) States may create their own similar system and request permission from the

Attorney General to opt-out of the federal system.

• (C) the transfer occurs between family members.

• (D) National Firearms Act transfers would be exempt. These are special weapons

such as automatic weapons that require a permit to own.

o (t)(3) provides a liability defense for dealers that follow all the laws and rules in

processing a transfer between private sellers.

o (t)(4) allows the Attorney General to implement the private sale requirement with

important prohibitions. The AG is prohibited from requiring dealers to process private

transfers, requiring private sellers to keep records of transactions, and placing a cap on

the fee that dealers can charge to facilitate a private transfer.

o (t)(5) provides a liability defense for the organizer of a gun show or the owner or operator

of an internet website that facilitates private firearm transfers.

o (t)(6) provides that there shall be no civil liability or standard of care for private transfers

that are not subject to this bill because this bill became law.

o (t)(7) provides definitions for gun show.

§ A gun show is defined using the definition from the McCain bill of 2003 which

defines a gun show as an event which has more than 75 firearms for sale.

• 122(b) prohibits the Attorney General from seizing records from FFLs other than in the course of

an investigation into a violation of the law.

• 122(c) prohibits the establishment of a national gun registry.

SEC. 123. Penalties. This section creates two new penalties and increases the penalty for three other


• Creates a tiered penalty system for violating 18 USC 922(t) (not doing a background check for a

commercial sale).

o A commercial sale to someone who is a prohibited purchaser or a police officer would be

a felony.

o A commercial sale to someone who can legally own a gun would be a misdemeanor.

• Adds a 15 year felony for improper use or storage of records (18 USC 924(q)).

SEC. 124. Firearms Dispositions.

• Allows dealers to sell all firearms and in this case handguns as well, across state lines.

• This would allow dealers to sell firearms to residents of other states as long as the firearm is legal

in that state.

SEC. 125. Firearm Dealer Access to Law Enforcement Information.

• This section gives licensed dealers the option of running background checks through the NICS

database on prospective employees. If an employee of a dealer has access to firearms or is

responsible for conducting sales or transfers this option gives dealers the ability to ensure the

employee is not a prohibited person.

SEC. 126. Dealer Location.

• Dealers are allowed to transfer firearms to dealers that are located in another state. This also

allows dealers to sell firearms at gun shows across state lines.

SEC. 127. Residence of United States Officers.

• Allows active duty military and their spouses to be considered residents of their permanent duty

station (as in current law), as well as residents of where they maintain a legal residence for

purposes of buying a firearm.

SEC 128. Interstate Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition.

• 128(a)(1) Defines “transport” to include staying in a temporary lodging, stopping for food or

other emergency situations in which one may find themselves while in legitimate interstate


• 128(a)(2) Limits the definition if a person has the intent to commit a crime with the gun.

• 128(b) A legal firearm owner can transport a firearm between two states where that person can

legally possess the gun.

o If the transportation is by motor vehicle, the firearm may not be directly accessible from

the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If there is no compartment, the firearm must

be in a locked container, other than the glove compartment or console and/or secured by a

safety device.

o If the transportation is by other means, the firearm must be in a locked container or

secured by a gun storage or safety advice.

o A legal firearm owner can also transport ammunition between two states where that

person can legally possess the gun.

§ If the transportation is by motor vehicle, the ammunition may not be directly

accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If there is no

compartment, the ammunition must be in a locked container other than the glove

compartment or console.

§ If the transportation is by other means, the ammunition must be in a locked


• 128(c) A person who is transporting a firearm or ammunition may not be arrested or otherwise

detained for violation of any State or Local law or regulation related to the possession,

transportation, or carrying of firearms, unless there is reasonable suspicion that the transportation

is not in accordance with subsection (b)

SEC. 129. Rule of Construction.

Nothing in this amendment should be construed to extend background checks to transfers other than

those made at gun shows or through advertised sales. Background checks are not required for any

temporary transfers, such as loans for hunting and sporting purposes or for examining a firearm for

potential purchase.

SEC. 130. Effective Date. This amendment takes effect 180 days after enactment.

SUBTITLE C—National Commission on Mass Violence

SEC. 141. Short Title. “National Commission on Mass Violence Act of 2013”.

SEC. 142. National Commission on Mass Violence

• (a) establishes a commission to study the availability and nature of firearms, issues relating to

mental health, and the positive or negative impact that firearms have on incidents of mass

violence or preventing mass violence.

• (b) membership of the commission will be 6 members appointed by the Senate Majority Leader

and 6 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Commission

members must be non-elected experts who are well-respected by their peers in the fields of

firearms, mental health, school safety and mass media. All appointments must be made within

30 days of passage.

SEC. 143. Duties of the Commission.

• (a) requires the commission to study incidents of mass violence to discover the root causes of

mass violence, including testimony from victims of mass violence. The Commission must study:

• the role of schools (2)(A)

• school security strategies (2)(B)

• the role of families (2)(C)

• the mental health system (2)(D)

• medical doctors (2)(E)

• the alienation of perpetrators of incidents (2)(F)

• domestic violence (2)(G)

• depictions of mass violence in the media (2)(H)

• the availability and nature of firearms (2)(I)

• the role of prosecutions (2)(J)

• the availability of information to construct weapons, including explosive devices (2)(K)

• the views of law enforcement, clergy, mental health experts and other leaders (2)(L)

• any other area that may appear to cause or contribute to mass violence (2)(M)

• (b) requires the commission to issue recommendations to the President and to Congress to

address the causes of mass violence.

• (c) requires the commission to submit an interim report within 3 months from the date in which

the commission first meets and to submit a final report within 6 months.

SEC. 144. Powers of the Commission.

• The commission will be able to hold hearings and take testimony under oath. They may also seek

information from federal agencies and departments. They can keep records secret and can

contract out some research duties. All information will be kept confidential.

SEC. 145. Commission Personnel Matters.

• The commission can compensate members who serve on the commission at an appropriate

amount. Its members will be allowed to travel. Finally, the Commission can hire staff necessary

to enable the Commission to perform its duties.

SEC. 146. Authorization of Appropriation. The amount of appropriation needed of the commission

shall be authorized.

SEC. 147. Termination of the Commission. The commission ends 30 days after issuing its final report

Read the full bill here

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