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Checks Keeping Guns From Felons

Wed., Feb. 26, 1997, midnight

Police background checks since 1994 have blocked more than 186,000 illegal over-the-counter gun sales - 72 percent by would-be buyers who were convicted or indicted for a felony, the Justice Department estimated Tuesday.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 6,600 applications to buy handguns or long guns are rejected each month not only in the 32 states covered by the federal Brady Act but also in those states that have their own similar laws authorizing background checks of gun-buyers.

The figures cover the 28 months from Feb. 28, 1994, when the Brady Act took effect, through last June.

By far the largest reason for blocking gun sales was the discovery that the buyer had been convicted or indicted for a felony, which occurred in 72 percent of the cases.

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