Toomey, Coons want alerts when gun buyers fail background checks

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators want state law enforcement to be alerted when someone who isn't allowed to buy a gun tries to purchase one.

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Chris Coons on Monday said they'll introduce a bill requiring federal authorities to notify states when a felon or a fugitive attempts to buy a firearm but fails the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said the legislation is a commonsense way to keep people trying to illegally buy guns on the radar of state law enforcement.

A bill to strengthen the background checks law, called "Fix NICS" has gained bipartisan backing and support from the NRA, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says no gun-related legislation would be heard this week.