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Biden Will Ask State Leaders To Boost Checks On Young Gun Buyers

President Biden will convene governors and state lawmakers at the White House and urge them to help strengthen gun background checks on buyers under 21 old to combat the pace of mass shootings. Biden, who has failed to convince a divided Congress to pass major national gun reform, said in a USA Today op-ed he will call for states to enact laws that provide the federal background check system "access to all records that could prohibit someone under age 21 from purchasing a firearm," the newspaper reports. The op-ed coincides with the one-year anniversary of a white 19-year-old gunman's killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket. Several Biden measures build off the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act - a gun law with limited restrictions that Congress passed last year - and a March 14 order Biden signed that seeks to increase the number of background checks during gun purchases. "America doesn’t have to be a place where our children learn how to duck and cover from a shooter, or scan a movie theater or restaurant for their exit options," Biden wrote.


Biden's latest appeal on guns looks to strengthen a provision in the federal law passed last year that created enhanced background checks for firearms buyers younger than 21. The law requires the background check system to contact state juvenile justice and mental health repositories for records when someone under 21 is attempting to purchase a firearm to see if they're prohibited under federal law. The FBI has found that some state privacy laws are preventing agencies from responding. Biden said the enhanced background checks on buyers younger than 21 have stopped 160 firearms "getting into potentially dangerous hands." Separately, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said there could be a “popular revolt,” if the Supreme Court blocks some kinds of gun control legislation. “If the Supreme Court eventually says that states or the Congress can’t pass universal background checks or can’t take these assault weapons off the streets, I think there’s going to be a popular revolt over that policy,” Murphy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” His comments came after a federal judge ruled unconstitutional a federal law preventing the sale of guns to 18- to 20-year-olds.

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