Gun database lacks necessary information

May 14, 2007 at 8:12 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- A Washington think tank claimed the FBI database lacks the information needed to prevent mentally ill people from buying firearms in the United States.

The think tank Third Way, which describes itself as a "strategy center for progressives," said information on 90 percent of mental health records that could disqualify prospective gun buyers hasn't been supplied to the FBI, USA Today reported.

Even though federal law bans people who have been judged mentally ill and committed for treatment from buying guns, 28 states don't provide mental health records to the FBI system. Third Way estimated that at least 2.6 million records should be in the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

"Stopping a severely mentally ill person from buying a gun through the NICS system is a matter of pure chance," said Jim Kessler, Third Way vice president for policy.

States that haven't supplied information cite a variety of reasons including privacy laws, USA Today said.

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