Congressman Davidson disagrees with ‘fix’ of national background check

Congressman Warren Davidson did not agree with President Donald Trump when he said, "Take the firearms first, and then go to the court" during a March meeting with lawmakers discussing gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

Trump said going to court isn't timely enough "because that's another system. You take so long to go to court to get the due process procedures. I like taking the guns early."

“You’re talking about a constitutional right,” Davidson said. “I don’t think people should be denied that right without due process.”

RELATED: Agriculture Secretary to visit area college

Davidson, a Republican from Troy, said he disagreed with the "Fix NICS" amendment attached to the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed last month, which was one reason he voted against the bill.

“In the U.S. system, we do the due process first,” he said.

The NICS, or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, was mandated by the Brady Law of 1993. It instantly determines if a potential firearms or explosives buyer has a criminal record. More than 230 million checks have been made since the FBI launched the database in 1998, and there have been more than 1.3 million denials, according to the bureau.

RELATED: Consumers could save on prescriptions after Ohio bans ‘gag orders’

But Davidson said that Cornyn's "Fix NICS" amendment didn't address what he views as the problem: government agencies, not courts, adding people's names to the background check list.

“So as long as you go through a military court, a civilian court — state or federal court — people would support that,” the freshman congressman said. “The concern is that here, you don’t necessarily have to go through a due process path — it’s just an agency says this person should be blocked.”

And going through due process is not a lengthy proceeding, Davidson said.

“A warrant isn’t six months of litigation,” he said. “ There’s a path to due process. It can be an expedited path if there’s an exigent circumstance — someone immanently threatening harm to someone — then it’s okay to say, ‘Let’s block him from buying firearms.’”

Davidson also disagrees with the "Fix NICS" amendment being attached to a spending bill. It should have been openly debated in the two chambers of Congress, he said.

”People who have committed certain crimes shouldn’t buy firearms,” Davidson said. “Having said that, the recent fix, I have concerns with — a number of people do — which is why they jammed it through (in the budget bill) because it would not have likely passed the House as structured.”

“Let’s close any loopholes for flaws and people that should be entered (on the list), like the Sutherland shooter in Texas,” Davidson said about the November 2017 church shooting. “(The shooter, David Patrick Kelley,) was convicted in a military court martial and so he had due process and should have been in the database. He should not have been able to legally purchase firearms. But the Air Force never put him in.”

About the Author