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Police struggle with background checks for foreign students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – West Lafayette police have been grappling with how to conduct background checks on foreign college students who apply for handgun licenses in Indiana.

State regulations on handguns don’t specifically address people from foreign countries, forcing West Lafayette police and other local agencies to rely on limited local, state and national criminal background checks, the Lafayette Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/2h2EKJF ) reported.

Indiana State Police asked the West Lafayette Police Department this summer to loosen its approach in issuing handgun licenses to international students after one student was denied a license. The city is home to Purdue University, which has about 10,000 international students.

Aaron Lorton, owner of Applied Ballistics in Lafayette, said a large number of his company’s clientele are international college students, many of whom visit his indoor range to test out their skills.

“It’s a bit of a novelty for them,” he said, “and they come in fairly large numbers.”

Lorton said some enjoy the experience so much they return regularly. Students, some of whom purchase their own guns, must first complete a hunting safety course to acquire an Indiana hunting permit. Those customers usually have a “delay” response when their information is entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System – a process that is required when purchasing firearms from licensed dealers.

“It takes a considerably longer period of time for somebody who is not a U.S. citizen to purchase a firearm,” he said.

West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski said his department has been hyper vigilant because international students’ criminal backgrounds outside the U.S. are unknown.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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