How The Omnibus Bill Handles Gun Control
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by Countable | 3.22.18
What’s the story?
Gun control has been at the center of national political news since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. And the attention has allowed some gun control measures to advance through Congress and make it into the omnibus spending bill set to pass this week. What new gun controls will be enacted as a result of the bill’s passage?
Fix NICS: The Fix NICS Act, which has been stalled in Congress since December is finally getting its day. The bipartisan Act aims to strengthen participation in the national gun background check database, by requiring state and federal agencies to submit data on relevant criminal convictions and mental health history.
Clarification of the Dickey Amendment: The Dickey Amendment, signed into law via a spending bill in 1997, dictated that no money given to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for "injury prevention" could be used for to "advocate or promote gun control." The omnibus doesn’t repeal the Dickey Amendment, but it does clarify that it doesn’t prevent CDC money from being used for gun violence research. The nonexistence of government-backed gun violence research has prevented gun control legislation from advancing in Congress.
STOP School Violence Act: The STOP School Violence Act passed the House, but hadn’t yet passed the Senate on its own. It authorizes an additional $20 million annually for ten years to fund school violence prevention measures, including training, security assessments and security equipment, like metal detectors.
What do you think?
Are you glad to see these measures included in the omnibus appropriations bill or not? Do you think they go too far, or not far enough? What, if any, gun control measures would you have liked to see included?
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— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
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