DOJ to prioritize prosecutions for those who lie on gun background checks: report

DOJ to prioritize prosecutions for those who lie on gun background checks: report

The Justice Department will request that U.S. attorneys prioritize prosecuting potential gun buyers who have lied on federal background check forms, The New York Times reports.

The request is reportedly part of forthcoming recommendations from the department and would, in effect, enforce existing laws governing gun sales. 

Lying on a background check form is a felony, though it has rarely been prosecuted, the Times noted.


The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment. 

The issue of gun background checks was thrust into the spotlight last week after Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and wounding more than a dozen others. Cruz was found with an AR-15 rifle, which he reportedly purchased last year.

The FBI revealed after the shooting that it failed to follow "protocols" when it received a tip about Cruz earlier this year. The bureau said it failed to direct the tip to its field office in Florida. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE said Thursday that he will be “strongly pushing” for comprehensive background checks following the Florida shooting, which has reignited the debate over gun control in the U.S.

Trump appeared to signal a shift on his gun control stance, saying he also wants a total ban on bump stocks, the rifle attachment that allows guns to fire like automatic weapons, in addition to raising the age of purchase for long guns from 18 to 21.

The ideas put him at odds with the National Rifle Association, which has strongly supported the president and other Republican politicians in the past. 

Trump has also said he favors arming certain trained teachers in schools, which has proven to be highly controversial with both Republicans and Democrats.