Sen. Stabenow ‘Not Familiar’ With Requirement to Disclose Gender for Firearms Background Check

Patrick Burke | April 9, 2013 | 7:05pm EDT
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Adam Lzana photo provided by police to AP. (AP photo)

( – Should refusing to disclose your gender on a firearm background form disqualify you from seeking a firearm?

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) wouldn't say Tuesday, telling that she is “not familiar” with the requirement to disclose one’s gender when undergoing a criminal background check to purchase a firearm.

“I actually have not focused on that. I would have to tell you I’d have to take a look at that,” Stabenow said.

At a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, asked the Michigan Democrat: “CBS reported that when registering for Western Connecticut State University Adam Lanza refused to identify his gender saying, ‘I choose not to answer’ and current background checks require a person to disclose whether they’re male or female.

“Should refusing to disclose gender be a disqualifier for seeking a firearm?”

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According to the form provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that an applicant must complete to undergo a background check and receive a firearm, the applicant is asked to check either “Male” or “Female.”

According to published reports, Lanza, who killed 26 people and then himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, refused to disclose his gender when registering as a student at Western Connecticut State University.

Stabenow, meanwhile, said that a person should have to disclose what is asked of them on legal documents, but said she is “not familiar” with the requirement to disclose gender for a background check.

“I assume people should disclose information if it is legal documents and they are required to answer questions in order to get a firearm, they would have to answer the questions,” Stabenow told “But frankly I’m not familiar with that particular law so I’d have to take a closer look.”

Sen. Stabenow, part of a bipartisan group of senators, is co-sponsoring the Excellence in Mental Health Act which, if enacted, would provide mental health services for returning veterans.

“The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and too many tragedies like it, have caused much discussion about our nation’s mental health services,” according to a fact sheet provided by Sen. Stabenow’s office.

“There is growing bipartisan consensus that we must strengthen our mental health services so that all Americans can get the care they need,” the fact sheet later added.

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