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New Federal Gun Law Blocks Gun Purchases By 27 Youths Under 21

Juvenile-record background checks required by last year’s sweeping federal gun legislation have prevented more than two-dozen 18-to-21-year-olds from buying guns after turning up problems such as drug abuse and domestic violence, said senators who advocated the law. The measure, signed by President Biden in June, requires juvenile records, including those related to mental health, to be assessed in criminal background checks for prospective gun buyers under 21. The measure has kept at least 27 young people from buying firearms, the lawmakers said, citing FBI data, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Those barred from gun purchases included an 18-year-old in Nebraska who had been institutionalized for what law enforcement described as “mental illness and violent outbursts”; another in Arizona who had a long juvenile criminal history including aggravated drug trafficking and threatening with a dangerous weapon; and another who had been arrested months earlier by police, who found marijuana and an unpermitted handgun in his car. Another man, 19, was stopped from buying a rifle after his juvenile records showed that he had previously been charged with assaulting a police officer and trying to commit suicide. Authorities “are discovering pretty quickly some people in deep crisis who shouldn’t have weapons,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who negotiated the bill with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). The two were among senators who traveled last week to Clarksburg, W. Va., to inspect the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which runs background checks on would-be gun buyers. Federal authorities must now check with local law enforcement and review state records to determine whether any buyer under 21 has a juvenile criminal record or mental-health history that would disqualify him or her.


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