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Cities sue Defense Dept. over gun-check system failures

Three large U.S. cities have filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department, saying many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren't reported to the national background check system.

Posted: Dec. 26, 2017 4:38 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on U.S. cities suing the Department of Defense (all times local):

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3:40 p.m.

A Pentagon official says he can't comment on a lawsuit filed by three large U.S. cities that says the military failed to properly use the national background check system for guns.

New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Virginia. The cities argue the Defense Department failed to report "significant numbers" of disqualifying records to the FBI's national background check system for gun licensing and sales. That failure allowed a disgraced former Air Force member to buy a rifle and shoot 26 people to death Nov. 5 in a Texas church.

Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson says the department is continuing to work with the U.S. military leaders to refine their policies.

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11:50 a.m.

Three large U.S. cities have filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department, saying many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren't reported to the national background check system.

New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Virginia. The cities argue the Defense Department failed to report "significant numbers" of disqualifying records to the FBI's national background check system for gun licensing and sales. That failure allowed a disgraced former Air Force member to buy a rifle and shoot 26 people to death Nov. 5 in a Texas church.

Local law enforcement officials rely on the FBI's database to conduct background checks on gun permit applications and to monitor purchases. The lawsuit says it must be up to date.

Federal officials didn't immediately comment on the lawsuit.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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