Press Release

Giffords Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Notify State and Local Authorities when Prohibited People Lie while Attempting to Buy a Gun

Washington, DC — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) for introducing legislation to notify state and local law enforcement when a prohibited firearm purchaser fails a background check at a licensed dealer. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) joined to introduce the NICS Denial Notification Act.

“An individual with a record who cannot legally purchase a gun is up to no good if he tries to lie his way into obtaining a firearm from a licensed dealer. Police officers need to know when this happens, and fast, in order to keep our communities safe” said David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor at Giffords and a retired ATF Special Agent of 25 years. “But currently, if you are denied by the FBI, state and local law enforcement rarely hear about it– and if they do, it’s often too late. This commonsense bill will raise alarm when someone is trying to illegally buy a gun and help prevent tragedies before they happen.”  

Individuals with violent criminal histories and other prohibited people who lie on the Form 4473 when buying a gun are violating federal gun laws. They may also be planning violent crimes. While federal law enforcement is notified of these denials, current law does not ensure that state or local law enforcement are made aware of these situations. This prompt notification of local law enforcement can help ensure the prohibited purchaser does not attempt to access firearms in other ways, like through an unregulated private sale or over the internet.