Police chiefs call for universal background checks for all gun purchases

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CHICAGO (AP) — The nation’s police chiefs are calling for universal background checks for anyone trying to purchase a firearm.

At a gathering in Chicago of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the top cops agreed the checks will help keep guns from people who shouldn’t carry them.

The call that such checks for all purchases and not just those from licensed gun dealers is not new. But in the past, law enforcement officials have included such a call as part of a wider effort that included calls for longer prison sentences for those convicted of gun crimes.

By narrowing their focus to background checks that polls indicate have overwhelming public support, the chiefs say they hope they can convince the public to push lawmakers for legislation that will reduce gun violence.