STATEMENT: CAP’s Arkadi Gerney on Increased Funding to States to Improve Reporting to Background Check System

Washington, D.C. — Today, Arkadi Gerney, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to provide an additional $19.5 million for grants that will ensure that tens of thousands of additional records of prohibited firearm purchasers are provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

“When it comes to gun laws, 8 in 10 Americans—and most gun owners—agree that we need to strengthen our background check system to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. The top priority should be ensuring that background checks are required on all gun sales and that the records of dangerous people are in the NICS. Today’s bipartisan vote to pass the Thompson-King amendment is a step in the right direction and will mean that thousands of additional records of felons, abusers, fugitives, and the dangerously mentally ill go in the background check system where they belong.”

The NICS database is a crucial component of keeping dangerous individuals—such as felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill—from purchasing or possessing firearms. However, millions of records that should be included in the database are missing, as states often do not have adequate resources to manage and automate the reporting of accurate records.

To speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.