Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks

Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday called a White House budget proposal to reduce funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) "downright dangerous" following recent mass shootings.

"While we are in dire need of an even stronger background check system in this country, like one that closes the Gun Show Loophole, the White House’s proposal would hurt one of the only firewalls we have in place to stop dangerous people from legally purchasing guns," Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer said the recently released White House budget proposal for fiscal 2019 calls for a $12 million funding cut to NICS. The proposed cuts would specifically affect a program that provides states and local communities with resources to ensure they can access accurate records, Schumer’s office said.

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The budget proposal could create loopholes that allow dangerous individuals to legally buy weapons, Schumer argued.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces 17 counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly opened fire at the school last Wednesday, killing 17 and wounding more than a dozen others. He reportedly used an AR-15 that he was able to purchase legally.

Cruz had been flagged as a threat after he was kicked out of school, and the FBI acknowledged it failed to properly act on a tip it received about Cruz's erratic behavior and violent threats.

There have been multiple school shootings since the start of 2018, including incidents in Florida, Kentucky and Texas.