By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — U.S. senators from Pennsylvania and Delaware unveiled bipartisan legislation on Monday that they say would make it harder for certain people to get guns illegally. The legislation says it would alert local law enforcement when someone failed a federal background check.

Sens. Pat Toomey and Chris Coons say their bill would strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS.

Though Pennsylvania and 12 other states run their own background checks on gun purchases, dealers in 37 other states — including Delaware — use NICS. This means local authorities aren’t aware when someone prohibited from having a gun lies on their NICS form to try to get one.

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Toomey says the NICS Denial Notification Act would correct that.

“It’s not rocket science to think that maybe we ought to be a little concerned about this person. Maybe state law enforcement oughta know this,” he said.

Coons says people who “lie and try” are likely to be greater risks.

“That person is much more likely, once denied, to try to go out and steal a firearm, to use a straw purchaser to illegally get a hold of it or to
go through a gun show or the internet where there aren’t currently gun checks required,” said Coons.

Toomey says he continues to pursue the bill he introduced in 2013 that would require universal background checks.

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