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4473: Gun form liars may go on to commit gun crimes, internal ATF research suggests

Last year, thousands of people trying to buy guns from dealers made false statements about their past on the required federal form, then went on to fail the background check due to a serious criminal record or other disqualifier. Lying to a licensed gun dealer is a felony punishable by a fine or up to 10 years in prison. Breaking that law might seem risky. But in September, a Government Accountability Office studymade it clear why those who “lie and try” would take their chances. Regional offices at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received 12,710 cases of firearm background check denials for further investigation in fiscal year 2017, the GAO found, but the government prosecuted only 12 people. More than 99.9% of those who were investigated escaped with nothing more than a warning.  [full article]

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