Justice worked on new gun safety recommendations

By

WASHINGTON (AP) —

The Justice Department has been investigating new ways to curb gun violence, including expanding and automating earlier this year the federal databases used in background checks on gun purchasers.

A working group made up of officials from around the Justice Department and the department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had started working on recommendations before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last week.

A Justice Department official who was not authorized to speak on the record on this issue and spoke anonymously confirmed the working group's existence. The New York Times says the group considered asking Congress to increase criminal penalties for people who buy guns for people who cannot pass a federal background check.

Officials refused Monday to talk about the group's recommendations.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.