In view of recent instances of gun-related violence in which innocent people lost their lives, the Justice Department has asked for a federal review of the database that contains details of persons who buy the guns. New York Times reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to carry out a comprehensive review of the database which must be kept updated at all times to ensure that individuals who have a criminal record are not able to buy a gun.

It may be recalled that a gunman had shot dead more than two dozen persons in a Texas church in November. He had a criminal record but was able to get hold of a weapon because his name was not in the relevant database. In an earlier incident of October, a lone gunman shot dead 58 people in a music festival in Las Vegas.

Easy availability of firearms

It is not difficult to buy a gun in the United States for personal safety. However, the easy availability of these weapons has taken many innocent lives, and incidents of gun-related violence continue to rise.

There is a need for strict monitoring, and background checks must be carried out to ensure that the firearm does not fall into the wrong hands.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions noted that from shooting in the Texas church reveals incompleteness of information available in the database. The gunman who shot dead the devotees in the church had a criminal record of domestic violence. This was apparently not reflected in the database, which is a serious matter.

Those responsible to maintain the information bank must keep it updated so that firearms are sold to only authorized persons.

Gun violence must be checked

Guns are freely available in the United States, and anyone can purchase one for personal safety as guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the owner has to take necessary care to prevent its misuse and prevent gun-related violence. There have been instances of shooting incidents in schools which is a matter of concern.

Former president Barack Obama made an attempt to enforce strict background checks after the Sandy Hook massacre. However, the proposal had to be shelved because of inadequate support.

The observations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions point to lapses in the system. These must be set right by the concerned authorities namely the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. An updated database with information on those who have a criminal record would be a step in the right direction.

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