Federal Background Check Bill Introduced With NBFAA Support

Members of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) took their messages direct to the nation’s capitol during the association’s second Day on Capitol Hill, in a successful grassroots effort to educate national legislators about the concerns of electronic life safety and security professionals.

One of the highlights of the two-day event was the announcement by Congressman Paul C. Broun, M.D. (R-GA) of the introduction of H.R. 5920 the “Electronic Life Safety and Security & Systems Federal Background Check Act,” legislation which was supported by NBFAA.

H.R. 5920 directs the Attorney General to permit the electronic life safety, security and systems profession to access the FBI database and to provide employers with relevant criminal history record information. The bill provides for various goals and standards that the industry would encourage the Attorney General to consider in promulgating rules for this access, as well as privacy protections and employee rights.

The NBFAA believes that employees of the industry need to undergo federal criminal background checks not only for the employer but to protect American citizens and provide the most professional services possible in these times of terrorism and increased criminal activity.

This bill represents NBFAA’s success in educating lawmakers about this issue. Background checks for the industry have been one of the legislative issues that the association has been pursuing on behalf of its members and the public.

“There is no substitute for direct, face-to-face meetings between elected officials in Congress and their key staffs and their constituents, such as NBFAA’s owners and state chapters. Our day in Washington provided NBFAA attendees the opportunity to personally discuss their legislative agendas directly with their Senators and Congressmen. We were very pleased at the number of contacts made, and the positive way we were received as an industry. We are already working on the next 2009 event,” said John Chwat, NBFAA Government Relations director.

“The 2008 Day on Capitol Hill was another successful effort on the part of our members to connect with their legislators and to represent our industry,” said NBFAA President George Gunning. “Our members know what’s needed to protect our nation’s citizens and to enhance public safety in the United States. The announcement during the event of the introduction of H.R. 5920, the Electronic Fire and Security Systems Federal Background Check Act of 2008 was just one example of the impact we can have on the legislative process and indeed, on our nation’s security interests.”

More than 40 NBFAA members, including association board members and state leaders from across the United States joined the Government Relations team during the two-day event. In addition to the visits to the Capitol Hill offices, members met with Rep. Michael Arcuri, (D-NY) sponsor of H.R. 2882, the Long-Term Care Life Safety Act. Arcuri was the featured guest speaker at the NBFAA luncheon on April 30.

NBFAA’s Day on Capitol Hill was sponsored by Honeywell, Altronix, Security America Risk Retention Group and ADI.

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