Bipartisan Group of Senators Propose Legislation to Prevent Gun Violence

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A bipartisan group of senators proposed new gun safety legislation in response to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14.

The NICS Denial Notification Act will strengthen the information sharing between federal and state law enforcement regarding individuals who “lie and try” to buy a gun even if they are prohibited to do so.

Individuals who are legally prohibited from purchasing a gun include convicted felons, domestic abusers, and fugitives. Gun stores use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to screen people who want to purchase guns. The system notifies federal authorities when someone fails a background check.

Under the legislation, federal authorities are required to alert state law enforcement within 24 hours if persons lie and try to purchase a gun. State authorities will decide whether to investigate, prosecute, or monitor the person for signs of future criminal activity.

The bill also requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to publish an annual report regarding its prosecution and denial cases. The report must include statistics.