PHILADELPHIA - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators want state law enforcement to be alerted when someone who isn't allowed to buy a gun tries to purchase one.
U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Chris Coons on Monday said they'll introduce a bill requiring federal authorities to notify states when a felon or a fugitive attempts to buy a firearm but fails the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said the legislation is a commonsense way to keep people trying to illegally buy guns on the radar of state law enforcement.
A bill to strengthen the background checks law, called "Fix NICS," has gained bipartisan backing and support from the NRA, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says no gun-related legislation would be heard this week.
The NICS Denial Notification Act requires federal authorities to alert state law enforcement when these individuals attempt to purchase firearms, which can be a warning sign of criminal behavior.
It will also require the Department of Justice to publish an annual report with statistics about its prosecution of background check denial cases, so Congress and voters can hold federal officials accountable.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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