Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI12) released the statement below following a hearing conducted by the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force entitled "Gun Violence Prevention: What are the Options?" Dingell serves as a Vice-Chair of the Task Force.
"Today's hearing provided another forum for this important national conversation to continue, and I thank all who participated. As I've stated before, I believe all parties involved in this discussion, and most certainly the American people, deserve to have their thoughts heard and their views considered.
"All sides of this discussion can agree that those who are prohibited by law from owning a firearm should be prevented from obtaining one. Having a strong, effective and complete National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system is a vital part of that. During today's hearing, I expressed my ongoing concern of flaws of the NICS program, of which many were highlighted in a study I commissioned by the Government Accountability Office. As of May 2012, thirty states have not yet uploaded records into the NICS system and the program to establish the incentives and penalties meant to promote participation in the system have yet to be established by the U.S. Department of Justice.
"As we continue this discussion, we need to take steps to better enforce the laws we have on the books, giving our states and our local law enforcement the tools they need to best protect their residents and enforce their laws. I'll continue to speak to residents of Southeast Michigan as part of this ongoing conversation, and will soon begin a series of meetings with local elected officials, law enforcement, and others throughout Michigan's 12th Congressional District, as we work to find the best way of protecting the American people and protecting the freedoms granted to us by the Second Amendment."