NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation ® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, awarded Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) the 2017 Legislator of the Year at the organization’s annual dinner in Washington D.C., coinciding with the firearms industry’s annual Congressional Fly-In.
“We salute Senator Cornyn for his outstanding leadership in the U.S. Senate, particularly for his tireless efforts to advance S. 2135, the Fix NICS Act and we are honored to present him with the 2017 NSSF’s Legislator of the Year Award,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president for government and public affairs and general counsel. “This legislation addressed a long-standing priority for NSSF and many in Congress to make the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) work as intended by requiring all federal agencies and incentivizing the states to submit all disqualifying criminal and mental adjudications. This is what common ground for all in the firearms debate looks like and we are honored Senator Cornyn chose to name his legislation for the NSSF campaign of the same name.”
The Fix NICS Act was introduced to the Senate in November of 2017, after it was learned the murderer in the Sutherland Springs, Texas tragedy was, in fact, a prohibited person and should not have been able to purchase a firearm. Tragically, the Department of Defense failed to ensure records were submitted to the FBI’s databases, including records of a felony domestic violence conviction and having been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility and a less-than-honorable discharge.
The legislation builds upon NSSF’s FixNICS® campaign. Launched in 2013, NSSF’s FixNICS campaign successfully changed the law in 16 states, resulting in an increase in the number of disqualifying mental health records in NICS to nearly 5 million, from about 1.7 million, a 200 percent increase.
“The Fix NICS Act will save lives, and I’m grateful for the hard work of affected families and advocates like the National Shooting Sports Foundation to finally fix and strengthen the criminal background check system,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Thank you for this recognition and for your unwavering commitment to reducing the likelihood of tragedies like what happened in Sutherland Springs.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.