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Sessions points to background check requirements

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. Emergency calls from parents and students during the Florida high school massacre show 911 operators at first trying to grasp the enormity of the emergency and then calmly trying to gather information to assist arriving law enforcement officers. The officers arrive to find chaos as delays allowed the shooter to flee. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling state and local officials to make sure they are providing crucial mental health and criminal history information to federal background check systems.

Sessions on Monday directed the FBI to identify localities that are not fully reporting information about arrests and mental health records to federal authorities. Such information could prevent someone from purchasing a gun if discovered during a background check.

Sessions told the FBI that people who can’t legally own guns shouldn’t be able to pass background checks “simply because information was not available to you.”

Sessions in November ordered a review of the FBI’s background check system after the Air Force failed to report the criminal history of the gunman who slaughtered more than two dozen people at a Texas church.