Sens. Toomey, Coons Push Bill to Stop ‘Lie-and-Try’ Gun Purchasers

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, left, and Chris Coons, right. (Photo: CBSPhilly)

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) are drumming up support for their bipartisan bill that aims to stop “lie-and-try” gun purchasers.

Known as the NICS Denial Notification Act, the legislation would require the federal government to alert state authorities within 24 hours when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer.

“When a convicted felon lies about his conviction in an attempt to purchase a gun, he is committing a new felony. This happens regularly in America,” said Sen. Toomey in a recent press release.

“Unfortunately, these crimes largely go unprosecuted,” he continued. “We can make progress on gun safety while respecting the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. This bipartisan bill will help to make our communities safer from criminals by better enforcing existing gun laws and responding to warning signs of criminal behavior.”

In fiscal 2017 there were 112,000 FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) denials; of those only twelve were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

(Photo: GAO)

Sens. Coons and Toomey believe that the sharing of information between the fed and the states will lead to a greater crackdown on lie-and-try buyers.

“The American people have called on Congress to act, and the NICS Denial Notification Act is one commonsense step we should take,” said Sen. Coons. “By ensuring that federal and state law enforcement can work together to prevent those who shouldn’t be able to buy a gun from getting one, we can make our communities safer. This is exactly the sort of bipartisan step Congress should be able to support.”

Currently, 13 states either administer their own background checks or have a hand in processing background checks run by the FBI, and are notified when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a firearm. However, 37 states and the District of Columbia depend largely on the FBI for processing checks and are generally unaware when a felon or domestic abuser fails a background check.

About the NICS Denial Notification Act:

  • Requires federal authorities to alert state law enforcement of background checks denials, so that state authorities can decide whether to investigate, prosecute, and/or keep an eye on these denied individuals for signs of future criminal activity.
  • Requires DOJ to publish an annual report with statistics about its prosecution of background check denial cases, so Congress and voters can hold federal officials accountable.
  • Endorsed by: Fraternal Order of Police; Major Cities Chiefs Police Association; Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association; National District Attorneys Association; Firearms Owners Against Crime; National Domestic Violence Hotline; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Everytown for Gun Safety; Giffords

A NICS Denial Notification bill was introduced in the House earlier this month. A vote in the House on that companion bill is expected as early as next week. Stay tuned for updates.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • alex March 29, 2019, 9:54 pm

    i live in PA,toomey is a total asshole and should be kicked to the curb,we need someone strong to run him out of office,goddamn jackass!

  • Chapsx12 March 29, 2019, 5:35 pm

    If PT has his lips moving he’s lying.
    POS should be voted out.
    He is 100% for removing any guns owned by citizenry.

  • Mike on a Truck March 29, 2019, 2:56 pm

    A Rino and a Communist cook up another bill. Great. Hey, I’ll go along with this as soon as we have background checks for the MSM. 24 hour waiting period before a news story can be filed. All reporters, journalists, writers, “expert” commentators must undergo a NICS check before they open their mouths.Watch the 2nd Amendment bigots scream.Not a violation of the 1st Ammendment. After all, it only applies to what the Founders had at the time: the printing press and the soap box in the town square. No one needs a weapon of mass destruction like t.v. cameras, computers,and radio.

  • NavyVet1959 March 29, 2019, 2:50 pm

    Just another attempt at trying to sneak in further infringements to our 2nd Amendment rights. If it says “commonsense” or if a Dimocrat supports it, AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS.

  • krinkov5.45 March 29, 2019, 2:33 pm

    Senators Toomey and Coons, no doubt about it, these two worthless scumbag shiteweasels have plenty of expertise in lying.

  • Lee March 29, 2019, 1:23 pm

    A denial does not necessarily mean that the person was illegally attempting to purchase a firearm… I had a customer who had to hire an attorney because he was repeatedly being denied… Turned out there was a records issue…

    There are also several instances where the person does not provide a social security number and has a common name with someone in the same city….

    Background checks are the common accepted practice but still an unconstitutional joke… Bad guys don’t straw purchase, thats a myth.. they buy or trade drugs for stolen guns off the street.

    Background checks keep guns out of the hands of criminals as like the lock on your front door keeps burglars out of your house…

  • AJ Stone March 29, 2019, 12:33 pm

    I have more of a question than a statement. I am a proud gun owner and supporter if 2A. Between by better half and I we have any affiliations whether they are military, OGA, NGA, or private sec in our backgrounds. We also have different views on possible solutions since his life has been commanded by his knowledge of things I will never experience because of his security clearances. This law actually makes sense to me, although I’d like to read it in its entirety to see what other language may be thrown in…my question for all my other law abiding gun yielding American cohorts is…would any of you be opposed to fingerprint scans at the time of purchase since you are already filing and signing a background check? Please dont beat me down here, I am just thinking out loud, since most jails now use a digital fingerprinting system on booking individuals if the system allowed a single fingerprint scan like some of us use when clicking into work it could not only identify a person who is an attempt to lie and buy by their flag for being a non buyer but it would allow a non buyer to be flagged based on previous attempts to use an alias to purchase a weapon. It does not have to allow for any additional personal information but if a person filed a background submission but their fingerprints did not match the name in the system, could this reduce the approvals using fake identities as well? I guess I feel like if I am already submitting background and picture ID I’d also be willing to submit fingerprint scan. I know some feel like too much big brother, but I’d like to hear other peoples view…please understand Iwe live in AZ which is a very gun supportive state and honors the reciprocity of almost every state without conditions except 1. I’m not a snowflake or easily offended but please dont condemn me with your responses either, explain why you might feel this way I’d really like to understand other view points

    • ted March 29, 2019, 6:21 pm

      It is already a violation of federal law to lie on the form, yet , it is very rarely followed up on by government !
      This will do NOTHING to stop them from trying. NY mandates that the information on denials are forwarded to the local PD. Suffolk county will investigate, Nassau county does nothing with the information ! Unless the new law MANDATES that local PD actually investigates the denial, which has been struck down already in court as unfunded mandates, it is only another “feel good ” law ! In reality, the FBI, who run the nics system, should investigate and prosecute IF they lied on the 4473 form !

  • Geary Formby March 29, 2019, 11:59 am

    Just another bunch of elite, out of touch, self promoting, scum bags pandering to their moon bats.
    If their 2A violating law(s) worked, at all, they wouldn’t need yet another one.

  • Robert Floyd March 29, 2019, 10:14 am

    The states do not have to enforce or spend money on any federal law unless the federal government pays the state to do so. But as many have said, “why do we have to pass a law to enforce existing laws?”

  • Robert Messmer March 29, 2019, 9:27 am

    No one with the right to vote should ever be denied the right to keep and bear arms.

  • John M Denney March 29, 2019, 9:06 am

    Well, I’m about as pro 2A as it gets but this one makes sense to me. I guess most people fail to realize that statistics show the majority of rejections is from illegal aliens. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. If you have to have these laws then at least they should work.

    • Geary Formby March 29, 2019, 11:49 am

      “Congress shall make no law….”

  • WuDanFu March 29, 2019, 8:12 am

    Enforce existing laws, what a novel idea,,, it figures into our screwed up state of affairs that we’d need a law to enforce the law and force departments to do their jobs and communicate with each other,,, sheesh, SMH…

  • Nick March 29, 2019, 7:12 am

    Stupid laws made by stupid people.

  • Molon Labe March 29, 2019, 6:27 am

    I’m surprised at you people! Just wait until we ALL have “felony convictions” because within the 100s of 1000s of “laws” on the books we ARE all committing SOME “felony” every single day. Go read “Three Felonies a Day.”
    If someome is a truly dangerous criminal, then he should be locked up, and society protected. If he’s been “rehabilitated”, we have no right to violate his RIGHTS, including his constitutionally protected ones, once he’s free.

  • Dan Barnes March 29, 2019, 6:22 am

    Trials cost money, feeding and housing criminals costs money, Who would be responsible for prosecuting these offenders and housing them if and when they’re convicted? It’s my understanding that, unless a felon or other prohibited person lies successfully and takes physical possession of the firearm, they’ve only broken Federal law by lying on the 4473.

  • Tim Shaw March 27, 2019, 1:41 pm

    I understand the intent but it won\’t work. I\’m an FFL and everyone of my \”Denied\” has been because of either someone having their identity stolen or some other innocuous reason. All have had their Denied overturn on appeal. Granted I\’m a small time FFL working out of my home part time and my customers usually are friends and military but to have to deal with local police when once again it was someone else that broke the law is wrong and could be expensive. I\’ve encouraged my customers to apply for a NICS exempt Concealed Carry card to eliminate the hassle of challenging denied 4473\’s.

  • Tim Shaw March 27, 2019, 1:36 pm

    I understand the intent but it won’t work. I’m an FFL and everyone of my “Denied” has been because of either someone having their identity stolen or some other innocuous reason. All have had their Denied overturn on appeal. Granted I’m a small time FFL working out of my home part time and my customers usually are friends and military but to have to deal with local police when once again it was someone else that broke the law is wrong and could be expensive. I’ve encouraged my customers to apply for a NICS exempt Concealed Carry card to eliminate the hassle of challenging denied 4473’s.

    • AJ Stone March 29, 2019, 12:44 pm

      I have a question for you…my better half and I have a buddy who is usually our FFL but he is out of country so I’ll ask you since it relates to your statement. For people who have had their identity stolen, the IRS gives you a federal PINA number you need to give to your acct when filing taxes. This is a federal number. Is there a place on a background form where that number could also be used to ID yourself as a person who has had their identity stolen and has been issued this PIN as proof of person to reduce possible denials? I know this is a little off topic but curious for myself as I have a PIN for this reason but have never been denied weapon purchase because of it…yet…

  • NA NA March 27, 2019, 11:52 am

    Yelp, thats fine & dandy but who’s goning to do the proscuting some gutless judge. Just another piece of 2nd amendment gone. States are already giving convicted criminals their voting rights back but we want to completely destroy the 2nd amendment fron law abiding citize s.

  • Dale Weller March 27, 2019, 11:35 am

    It’s about time.If you are not going to enforce the law , Then quit passing more laws!

    • joefoam March 29, 2019, 8:19 am

      My thought exactly. All the politicians are hot on the Universal Background Check nonsense, but if the authorities only prosecute 10% of the time what good is the law.

  • JB March 27, 2019, 11:18 am

    As law abiding Gun owners we are always saying prosecute the criminals. If this helps do that, I’m all for it. The proof will be if the state’s follow through with prosecutions when notified. Otherwise, it’s another useless gun law.

  • Ziggy March 27, 2019, 10:58 am

    Well, according to John Lott, the vast majority of initial denials are false positives resulting from similar names to known felons and so forth. So if they try to prosecute these people we will have a lot of innocent gun buyers being hassled by police and, who knows, being accidentally shot by SWAT teams.

  • SuperG March 27, 2019, 10:51 am

    If it is already a federal crime to lie on the form, then why are not the Feds making the prosecution?

  • KimberproSS March 27, 2019, 10:03 am

    I thought that when someone fails a background check for purchasing a firearm for a felony conviction the person running the background was supposed to notify the police immediately? I thought that was already the requirement.

    Probably like border security, the laws exist but not enforced, so let’s make more laws until the web is so convoluted no one knows if they are breaking one.

  • coyote hunter March 27, 2019, 8:46 am

    Just one more law that probably would do nothing, take money from states that could be used for better things, hire more gov’t positions….

  • Old Hawg March 27, 2019, 8:32 am

    Finally, the “Fools on the Hill” have come up with “commonsense” firearms legislation which makes common sense. Anyone who lies on a 4473 should be prosecuted and punished severely, particularly those who have violent felony convictions and those who make straw purchases. I just read the other day of a sailor who bought 60 firearms at base exchanges and then sold them for a profit on the street. Who ends up being inonvenienced by things like Universal Background Checks because of “gun violence”? WE, the law abiding.

  • Dr Motown March 27, 2019, 7:39 am

    The feds can\’t handle this, as evidenced by their low investigation rate, so the law dumps it on to the states….who will then be overwhelmed. Another feel-good law that won\’t result in much practical value

  • Forrest Adcock March 26, 2019, 6:33 pm

    Crime should be illegal-er?

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend