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Congress Passes Gun Control Measure; Includes Domestic Violence Offenders

On December 19, the Senate approved, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 2640) that will expand the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Following Senate passage of an amended version, the House approved the bill, by unanimous consent, on December 19. The president is expected to sign the bill into law. The House passed the original version of the bill on June 13 (see The Source, 6/15/07).

Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 will make more electronic data available to states for checking the criminal and mental health records, including misdemeanor domestic violence records, of people who want to purchase guns. The bill would authorize $250 million for FY2008-2010 to assist states in updating their electronic records.

During its consideration of the bill, the Senate adopted, by unanimous consent, an amendment, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), to allow veterans with certain psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, to purchase guns.

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