eric holder

Holder begins gun-control push

by Megan R. Wilson, The Hill  |  published on January 26, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday released three proposals to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which was one of the 23 actions ordered by Obama last week to tackle gun violence.

The proposed regulations would give local law-enforcement agencies access to the gun-sale database that is maintained by the FBI. The rules would also preserve records of denied weapons sales indefinitely.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act already requires federal background checks for gun purchases, but not every firearm sale is covered under the law.

Currently, law enforcement agencies cannot perform a NICS check when transferring, returning or selling weapons that have been confiscated, seized or recovered. The new rules would change that, allowing officials to perform a background check on people who receive those weapons to ensure that they are permitted to own a gun.

Obama ordered the rule change in a Jan. 16 memo that called for “rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.”

Holder is also proposing that the NICS hold on to records of denied weapon sales that are more than 10 years old. When the NICS was established, the Justice Department ordered that the records be moved to a storage facility after 10 years, which Holder says is no longer necessary.

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