A modest step on guns, threatened by House GOP – The Boston Globe

December 05, 2017

Rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to back sensible gun control legislation in the wake of the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas. Really, it’s true.

The bipartisan bill would strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, used to check the criminal histories of would-be gun buyers.

But don’t get too heartened by this outbreak of decency.

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House Republican leaders, in a truly repugnant maneuver, have packaged the bill with another measure that would loosen restrictions on concealed weapons — hitching a really bad idea to a good one and, in the process, threatening the political prospects of the good one.

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Even some fellow Republicans are dismayed by the move.

Related Links Finding common ground on gun control

Over in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, who cosponsored an upper-chamber version of the criminal background check measure, says, “We have good bipartisan support” for a stand-alone bill. “It’s really important, and it will save lives,” he recently told the conservative Daily Caller website, “but if we start trying to add other things to it, then I think we risk not doing anything.”

The so-called Fix NICS legislation is modest, but important — reinforcing the requirement that federal agencies report all infractions to the FBI-run background check system and providing states with incentives to improve their own reporting.

NICS’s shortcomings came into focus after reports that the Air Force failed to report Devin Kelley’s domestic violence conviction to the background check system, allowing him to

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