The law of unintended consequences from dumb legislating...
Current law requires states to submit criminal records for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Firearms merchants use this system to run background checks on purchasers to prevent felons, fugitives, etc. from getting their hands on weapons or ammunition. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to take the system a step further.
As the Heritage Foundation explains, Reid's ideas seem to be a bit counterproductive:
Section 112(b) of the Reid bill provides that: “Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and every year thereafter, the Attorney General shall publish, and make available on a publicly accessible website, a report that ranks the States by the ratio of the number of records submitted by each State under sections 102 and 103 of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) to the estimated total number of available records of the State.”
In other words, the Attorney General must publish an annual list of states that are doing poorly in submitting their criminal records to the NICS. What a handy list for a criminal looking to buy a gun—he need only peruse the Attorney General’s list of states to know whether he has a good chance in his state of passing a background check so that he can buy a firearm in violation of federal law.