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Washington (AFP) – US lawmakers moved to boost funding of the national background check system for firearm sales, a small but symbolic step toward broader gun law reform following recent mass shootings.

 The measure would provide $19.5 million to help states submit records to a federal database aimed at preventing felons and the mentally ill from buying weapons. Supporters of the amendment, which passed 260 to 145 as part of a $51 billion spending bill for the Commerce and Justice Departments expected to be approved later Thursday, say the measure would keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.