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Bill would alert authorities if you fail a background check

May 12, 2016

Police could be notified if you try to buy a gun and fail a background check.

That's if a bill introduced in the Michigan State House today passes. The bill, introduced by Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, would require gun sellers to contact state, local, and federal authorities if a person fails a background check when trying to buy a firearm.

Wittenberg said the goal is to head off illegal purchases of guns.

"We are trying to prevent any tragedies ahead of time," he said. "If you're a law-abiding citizen, this won't affect you at all. This won't impact law-abiding citizens in any way." 

The organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America issued a statement Thursday in support of Wittenberg's bill. 

"This bill would provide valuable information to law enforcement which, in turn, helps them keep our communities safe and prevents guns from getting into the wrong hands,” wrote Kristen Moore, the chapter leader for the group in Michigan. 

But while Wittenberg called the bill "common sense," not everyone agrees.

Steve Dulan is on the board of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. Since the bill was just introduced, the organization does not yet have an official position. But, speaking for himself, Dulan said his initial reaction is that it actually could affect law-abiding citizens. 

"I suppose a narrowly-crafted bill might be helpful," Dulan said, "but this isn't it."