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- House Republicans combined a background-check bill with an expansion of concealed-carry rights.
- Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said bolstering background checks needs to be done on its own.
WASHINGTON – House Republicans combined the bill bolstering the National Instant Criminal Background Check System’s reporting process with a national reciprocity law for concealed firearm permits, which is likely to be dismissed as dead-on-arrival in the Senate, according to one of the co-authors of the background-check bill.
The House is slated to vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 and the Fix NICS Act on Wednesday, which are combined to be passed together. Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada has an amendment that would remove the bill aimed at reciprocating concealed-carry permits across state lines, though it is likely to be axed by the Rules Committee.
Murphy, a Democrat, told Business Insider on Monday “combining the two doesn’t change” where Democrats and Republicans stand on the polarizing gun debate.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that opposes the concealed-carry provision that’s gonna vote for the bill because it has Fix NICS on it,” Murphy said. “I think it’s interesting that Republicans feel like they have to – the Republicans are worried about the optics of passing the concealed-carry bill without other provisions. But I don’t think concealed carry has the votes in the Senate before and it doesn’t now.”
The Fix NICS bill is a bipartisan effort bolstered by Murphy, one of the left’s leading gun-control proponents and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who sought to fix problems exposed by the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last month.
In the Texas shooting, where 26 churchgoers were killed, the United States Air Force had failed to upload the shooter’s assault conviction into the national database. The Fix NICS bill would require agencies and states to develop initiatives and reward states through federal grant incentives.
Murphy added that Cornyn was in agreement with him that he “wants to move the Fix NICS by itself” as a separate piece of legislation from the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. A spokesman for Cornyn was not immediately available.