Nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns in 2010 because they lied or provided inaccurate information about their criminal histories on background-check forms, and only 44 of them were charged with a crime, says the New York Times. The staggeringly low number of prosecutions for people who “lie and try” is being studied by the Obama administration as it considers measures to curb gun violence after the Connecticut elementary school shootings last month.
A task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden is expected to offer proposals as early as tomorrow. It is looking at a wide range of issues linked to gun crimes, including violence in video games and movies, and gaps in mental health treatment and background checks. The administration can increase the number of prosecutions for lying on background-check forms largely on its own. It is also one measure that both sides of the gun-control debate have agreed upon. “This is not like looking for a needle in a haystack — these are people you know are too violent to buy a gun,” said John Feinblatt, an advisor to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.