Providence, RI - Minority Leader Patricia Morgan is questioning the Attorney General’s reporting of individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Faced with stonewalling from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, Leader Morgan submitted a FOIA request on March 27, 2018, to the FBI. She requested the number of individuals reported to the NICS system by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. On April 23, 2018, she received a response from the FBI stating: “We were unable to locate records responsive to your request.” This implies that the Attorney General has failed to report individuals to the NICS system.
The NICS system was launched in 1998 and is credited with stopping over 2.4 million dangerous individuals from purchasing guns. Anyone purchasing a firearm from a gun store must submit to an NICS background check.
“Prevention is undoubtedly the most effective means to keep our citizens safe. It should obviously be a priority for every elected official. Therefore, it is completely unacceptable that my efforts to use our existing laws and resources to protect our children and teachers has been callously dismissed and blocked by the Office of the Attorney General.”
After the tragic Parkland Shooting in March, Leader Morgan asked the Attorney General to provide an update on the number of individuals he has reported to the National Instant Criminal Database System (NICS). Kilmartin’s office refused to answer, stating that the number is classified information.
“The Attorney General’s office stated that the number of individuals reported under NICS is ‘classified’ information. I was asking for a number with no personal or identifying information. I questioned the transparency and accountability of the Attorney General. It turns out, according to our FOIA request, that they may have reported nobody at all. Parents and grandparents should be disgusted that our chief law enforcement agency prefers to evade its responsibility when school security is at stake.”
“I’m troubled by the hypocrisy. State Democrat leaders are seeking to take away the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens when they are not fulfilling their responsibility to prevent criminals from buying guns.”
“Is the Attorney General submitting names to the FBI to prevent bad people from getting guns in the first place? We don’t know, and the Attorney General won’t tell us, but the FBI indicates that they haven’t.”
“We can’t afford to wait for a tragedy to investigate the reporting mechanisms at the state level. The FBI must be provided with the information they need to deter violent criminals.”