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Senate bill would bar terrorism suspects from buying guns

[JURIST] US Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) [official website] Thursday introduced a bill to restrict gun sales to terror suspects. S. 1237 [bill materials] would give the US attorney general the power and discretion to block gun sales to people listed as suspected terrorists. Under the bill, potential buyers who were denied firearms could appeal that decision to the attorney general. The bill has been endorsed by the Department of Justice [official website], although DOJ leaders stressed that there still might exist situations in which suspected terrorists would be allowed to purchase guns, for example if denying a suspect a gun would tip them off that they were under investigation and would thus hamper intelligence gathering.

Under current law, terrorism suspects can still buy firearms if background checks show they are not convicted felons, illegal immigrants or suffering from mental illness. AP has more.

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