Two bills in Florida congress would beef up background check laws

Clark Fouraker is on your side. 2/28/2017

At Green Acres Sporting Goods, gun sales and background checks happen all the time.

Z Farhat is the manager and he says some people come in to fill out background checks knowing they won't get approved. He's talking about people who have felony or domestic violence convictions, as oftentimes they can't buy a gun.

"If somebody knowingly came in, knowingly filled out that form and lied on it, knew they were a felon or had a domestic violence and tried to buy a gun anyway and got turned down - then we would notify ATF," Farhat explains.

There's a bill in the Florida House right now calling for more notifications. A South Florida lawmaker want the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to notify a local police agency within one week of a background check denial.

The idea? Local police can investigate why that person is trying to buy a gun and if they're making repeated attempts to do so.

"Really," Farhat says, "nothing happens to these people that I know of if they go and try to buy a gun."

The FBI doesn't track denials by state - but says on average about 1.25 percent of all checks get denied nationwide. Federal agents do regular checks of the gun stores to survey who has tried to buy a gun and wasn't able to.

"They will check the non-approval forms because we have to keep those and if they see someone's name in there more than once, they probably follow up," Farhat continues.

Background checks aren't required at gun trade shows if the seller is a private individuals. If a seller hold a Federal Firearms License, their license requires them to conduct a background check.

A second Florida lawmaker has filed a bill in the Florida house to make that a requirement, for all sellers, going forward.

The denials are generated from a federal crime database established in the 1990s. If someone gets denied, they have 21 days to appeal.

SISTER STORY | The Unspoken Cost of Gun Crimes

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