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SAFE Act background check may not go far enough
ALBANY -- A year
after the SAFE Act was signed with some of the strictest gun regulations in the
country, there is concern the background check may not go far enough.
State Police say they use the National Instant Criminal Background Check, a federally recognized system, but the Terror Screening Database maintained by the FBI isnt among the lists checked. The database contains the names of an estimated one million people the government believes may be connected to terrorist activity.
Certainly anyone that's legitimately on the terror watch list clearly we don't want to have them be able to purchase firearms if they're legitimately on there, said Asm. Steve McLaughlin (R) Kinderhook.
While most people would not want a legitimate terrorist to buy a gun in New York, there is concern whether cross-checking against the database would prevent it. A 2007 Office of Inspector General audit found 38 percent of analyzed records contain errors or inaccuracies. The FBI responded it is working to ensure accuracy and maintains the database is an effective tool against terror.
It's a double edged sword. You don't want to carte balance say every single person on there can't buy but I think what's troubling is that in this day in age we have that many cases of mistaken identity. We should be able to weed through this a bit more quickly and thoroughly, said McLaughlin. I think this should be looked at as long as we can make sure people are legitimately on there.
Last year, New Jerseys legislature passed a bill prohibiting anyone on the terror watch list from buying a gun in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie encouraged Congress to make sure law-abiding citizens arent on the list and wrongfully prevented from buying a firearm.
Gov. Cuomos office did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment.