State court association says federal money could ‘Fix NICS’
By Christen Smith
David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of State Court Administration, told Senate lawmakers fixing the background check system is a matter of congressional funding. (Photo: American-Statesman)
A Texas state official said last week the federal background check system needs more resources to function properly — and congressional funding would be a good place to start.
David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of State Court Administration, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week federal grants in 2012 and 2013 helped the Lonestar State boost its criminal records reporting 69 percent. Two years later, Texas lawmakers codified time-sensitive reporting mandates for family violence and emergency protective orders, ensuring the databases feeding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System would populate the disqualifying records in time to prevent an illegal gun transfer.
“As you know, the NICS database is only as good as the records it contains, and we feel that Texas has made great strides in improving the reporting of mental health records and domestic violence disqualifiers to it,” Slayton said. “Without the federal funding for these projects, the significant improvements in Texas likely would not have occurred.”
Fixing NICS became a congressional priority after a former Airman gunned down 26 people