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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Secures Appropriations Language to Prevent Domestic Abusers From Obtaining Guns

May 17, 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as the only Illinois Member on the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks on the inclusion of his legislative language in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill. Rep. Quigley’s language encourages states to prioritize logging records into the National Instant Criminal (NICS) Background Check System for domestic violence abusers.

“I rise to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for including my report language in the Manager’s amendment that would encourage states to prioritize logging records into the NICS Background Check System for domestic violence abusers.

“As we work to combat our staggering gun violence epidemic through common-sense policy and substantive action, we can all agree that certain individuals, including known domestic abusers, should not have the ability to purchase firearms.

“While there is, indeed, a law to that effect already in place, Americans are reminded every day that the enforcement of laws is just as important as their creation.

“Just look at last November when a gun found its way into the hands of a known domestic abuser, Devin Kelley, who went on to kill twenty-six innocent people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

“By law, Devin Kelley should not have been able to purchase a weapon. Yet, the law was violated with ease.

“Not because of the cleverness of a criminal. Not because of a lack of laws protecting our citizens. No, twenty-six people died because of a failure in communication between state and federal law enforcement officials. This failure is deadly, and it is inexcusable.

“States must do more to ensure they are uploading all criminal and domestic abuse records that prohibit the sale of a firearm, and we at the federal level need to provide all available resources to assist in these lifesaving efforts.”

In November, Rep. Quigley re-introduced the bipartisan NICS Denial Notification Act, which will help law enforcement better enforce current gun laws by establishing an alert system to notify state and local law enforcement when criminals break the law attempting to acquire a gun. The bill also calls for a federal study of background check denials, which will help develop a risk-assessment tool for law enforcement to use in identifying denied gun purchasers who pose a higher risk for future violence. Rep. Quigley has also introduced legislation requiring the Attorney General to conduct a study and provide a report to Congress on possible links between mass shooters and a history of domestic violence.