Congressman Calls for Creation of Nat’l Center for Campus Public Safety

WASHINGTON—In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Frank Wolf (R-VA) called on the Obama Administration on Tuesday to use existing funds to improve the nation’s background check system and create a national center for campus public safety.

The congressman’s letter is in response to the White House’s proposal to reduce gun violence and improve safety at U.S. schools.

Wolf, who is chairman of the subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, said improvements to the background check system that were included in his House-passed FY 2013 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill could be funded through existing funding in the 2012 continuing resolution.

“I understand that funds are available under the current continuing resolution to support grant programs to strengthen the nation’s background check system and keep guns out of the hands of prohibited individuals,” Wolf wrote. “Both the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program and the National Criminal History Improvement Program can provide states with grant funding to update and automate criminal history and mental illness records.”

Wolf noted that his CJS Appropriations bill for FY 2013 included more than twice the amount the president requested in his budget for the NICS Act program and twice the amount under the current continuing resolution.

Additionally, Wolf requested that the administration reprogram funds to establish a national center for public safety on school campuses, based on the House-passed Campus Safety Act, which Wolf cosponsored with Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) in the 112th Congress.

“Such a program could provide training, research and best practices to educational institutions at all levels to increase safety and prevent violence,” he wrote, adding that a similar proposal last Congress had strong support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and the VTV Family Outreach Foundation.

Read the letter.

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