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John Cornyn, John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, center, flanked by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, following after a Republican policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A GOP senator will introduce legislation to strengthen gun background checks


Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn on Tuesday announced that he plans to introduce legislation to strengthen the federal background check system to prevent future mass shootings like the one at a Church in Sutherland Springs.

The bill would incentivize federal agencies and the military to "expeditiously and efficiently" upload criminal conviction records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Federal agencies are already required to report this information to NICS. The Air Force failed to report the church gunman's domestic violence conviction, which should have prevented him from being able to buy a gun.

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Cornyn, citing data from the Department of Justice, said the number of records currently being shared with NICS are "staggeringly low."

"We need to better understand why our existing laws didn't work in this instance and that's what my proposed legislation will do,” Cornyn said during remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

It's unclear how the bill would incentivize agencies to better report criminal convictions.

When asked about legislation to restrict access to guns, Cornyn told reporters that "gets us into a stalemate again," The Hill reported.

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