3/05/14 | by Chris Eger
President Obama released his 2015 federal budget request Tuesday that includes a $182 million in funding for new gun control measures.
The $3.9 trillion FY2015 budget asks for increased funding for the ATF as well as the FBI’s NICS program, safety research, active shooter training and other expenditures that are being aimed at preventing gun violence.
In a statement from the White House on these requests, the President is tacking them to his 2013 “Now is the Time” program, which was introduced in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
With the budget, the President aims to improve background checks, inspections of Federally-licensed firearms dealers, tracing and ballistics analysis, and to ramp up programs to identify the dangerously mentally ill. It will also offer funds for training state and local law enforcement to prevent and respond to active shooters, and other measures to enhance school security.
This improvements are salted across the entire budget, with several departments and agencies seeing a boost even as spending is being curtailed across government.
The Department of Homeland Security budget (pdf), which is overall seeing a decease from 2014 figures, will get $10 million to provide active shooter training to local law enforcement agencies as well as to increase its “If You See Something, Say Something” program.
The Justice Department budget (pdf), whose overall budget is basically flat from current figures, would get $13 million for the FBI to fund improve its NICS background check system for potential gun buyers as well as more money for active shooter training. The President revamped NICS in 2013 through a series of executive actions.
The ATF would receive an additional $22 million to provide, “continued focus on inspections of federally-licensed firearms dealers, improve tracing and ballistics analysis, and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and other prohibited persons.”
This strikes some in the firearms industry as ill-placed.
“Considering the overwhelmingly high regulatory compliance rate and that less than 1 percent of licensees who have their license revoked, from an industry point of view we would prefer to see the additional $22 million directed toward providing better, more timely customer service to industry members,” said Larry G. Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement to Guns.com about the budget.