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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2021 04:14 PM
From: Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Increasing Fees Charged for Pennsylvania’s Instant Check System
The federal Brady handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Act) of 1993 mandated the establishment of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which is a national computerized background check system.  In response to the Brady Act, the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) was implemented and is designed to provide immediate access to a background check on individuals who attempt to purchase a firearm, receive a firearm through a transfer from another individual, or apply for a license to carry a concealed firearm.
Currently, revenues collected from these fees are deposited in the restricted Firearm Records Check Fund and are to be appropriated annually to the PSP to carry out the PICS records check function along with a Gun Check Appropriation and the PSP General Government Operations.  For the past two fiscal years, the $5.00 fee has generated enough revenue to cover 31% of PICS expenditures.  The fees do not generate enough revenues to cover the cost of the program, and the fees have continued to cover a lower percentage of costs over time.  In order to fully fund PICS with fee and surcharge revenues, the current $5.00 fee would need to be raised to $16.00.
I plan to introduce legislation to increase the fee the much needed $16.00.
If you have any questions, or need any additional information, please contact Marlene Wilson at 717-787-4032 (6253) or mwilson@pahouse.net.