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Shaheen Bill To Toughen Federal Checks on Gun Buyers

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has teamed up with colleagues across the aisle to sponsor a bill, introduced Thursday, that seeks to strengthen the federal database on gun background checks.

Shaheen says the federal database, known as NICS, is “woefully” flawed and needs to be changed.

Under the new legislation, there would be incentives for states and federal agencies to report to the database and punishments for failing to do so.

Shaheen says holes in the system have become even more apparent since the recent mass shootings.

“Background checks keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous individuals and if we can make sure this system works the way it’s supposed to, then hopefully we can keep weapons out of the hands of people who might do harm to others,” Shaheen told NHPR in a phone interview.

Republican Senator and Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, are the bill's main sponsors.