Gun safety: Try, try again

Gun safety: Try, try again

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., are trying again at an obvious and needed improvement to gun safety — or the lack thereof. The senatorial neighbors, in a continuation of their nearly decade-old partnership aimed at boosting gun safety, have joined a bipartisan group of senators — five Democrats and five Republicans — in reintroducing legislation to help states enforce the law against people who lie on their background check in an effort to purchase a gun. This is a commonsense piece of legislation that doesn’t call for any new restrictions on gun purchases. Instead, the NICS Denial Notification Act would simply require federal authorities to alert state and local law enforcement within 24 hours if someone who is legally prohibited from purchasing a firearm — a convicted felon or fugitive, for example — tried to buy one. It’s a bill aimed at enforcing current laws against someone who lies on a background check, a crime the lawmakers say rarely gets prosecuted. In 37 states and the District of Columbia, state and local officials rely on the FBI to run background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, but local law enforcement is generally unaware if someone fails. Although Mr. Toomey is a sponsor, the proposal would have little impact on his home state since Pennsylvania is one of the 13 that performs its own background checks on gun sales. The measure, instead, is part of the ongoing effort by Mr. Toomey and Mr. […]

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