The U.S. House is looking to spend $12 million to improve the national system for conducting background checks for gun purchases, reports the Washington Post. The House version of the annual spending bill for the Department of Justice includes an additional $7 million to help states provide better data, including mental health records, to the National Instant Background Check System. The full appropriations committee approved the $51 billion bill Thursday. The House is expected to take up the measure next month.
Last week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent letters to every governor in the nation asking for support in improving background checks for gun purchases. He asked the governors to provide information to the NICS, which is required to be used by federal firearms licensees to determine whether a potential buyer is eligible to purchase a gun or explosive. In the past decade, more than 100 million checks have been made, leading to more than 700,000 denials. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, praised the funding recommendation.