New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is expected to drop the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 — a near-identical companion to that of fellow New Yorker Chuck Schumer’s Senate bill — according to sources familiar with the legislation.
A draft of the bill obtained by TheDC makes clear that McCarthy’s legislation significantly mirrors Schumer’s much-publicized bill and would make three significant changes to current national gun laws. McCarthy’s proposed fixes include gun-control advocates’ long-sighted target in the national firearms debate — closing major “loopholes” of the milestone Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
Like its Senate companion, the House bill would also increase penalties for states that do not comply with the NICBC’s current requirements. States that do not make available the data needed to assess those who are or may be prohibited from possessing firearms could face reductions in the amount of federal crime-fighting funds they receive.
Another major provision of both bills focuses on the mental health issues of those seeking to possess firearms.
Apart from further defining and stipulating who qualifies as a “mental defective” both bills call for the development of mental health assessment plans for institutes for higher learning. Both bills would require federally funded colleges to develop a plan for the institutes to address risks posed by students who appear to need mental health help. Colleges must have a mental health “team” ready to assess potentially dangerous students as well as procedures in place for making voluntary and involuntary mental health referrals.
“Here we go again,” said National Rifle Association spokesman Alexander Arulanandam. “Rather than focusing her efforts on going after criminals [or] focusing her efforts on getting more information on ATF’s Fast and Furious program, [McCarthy is] opting to put more stringent regulations on law-abiding people.”
The NRA said that most criminals, especially the mental health cases like that of the Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and alleged Arizona gunman Jared Loughner make it through the cracks because current laws already in place are simply not being followed. Further restrictions on those law-abiding citizens who may have received some form of mental health treatment are being further punished.