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Gun store interior with different firearms

Gun store interior with different firearms. (Stock photo from 123rf.com)

ST. LOUIS  — Licensed gun dealers in the city will have to tell police whenever a prospective buyer fails a federal background check under a bill passed Friday by the Board of Aldermen.

The bill's sponsor, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, said the measure could help police "fill in some of the missing pieces'' in open investigations and in efforts to prevent domestic violence.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense of America, which pushed for the measure, said St. Louis is the first city in the nation to adopt such legislation although some states have similar policies.

The group said it's a federal and state crime for a would-be gun buyer to lie about their prohibited status on a background check form.

Reports by gun dealers that someone has done that provides police "with the information they need to investigate" such people, the group said in a news release.

Cathy Gilbert, a leader in the Missouri chapter of the moms group, said there are 20 licensed gun dealers in the city.

Backers of the St. Louis bill believe that it will not violate a Missouri law barring local gun regulations going beyond those imposed by the state.

A fact sheet from Everytown for Gun Safety, a related gun control group, says such state preemption regulations generally do not keep municipalities from carrying out enforcement of an existing law.

The vast majority of background check rejections across the nation last year involved people found to have a criminal past making them ineligible, the Associated Press reported.

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