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GRANT TO HELP SPEED BACKGROUND CHECKS

The Justice Department has awarded Utah $50,000 to develop new technology to make legal background checks quicker and easier.

"Utah has one of the country's most advanced criminal history record systems, and these funds will further enhance those systems," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who announced the grant.The Justice Department said the money will go to develop ways to better access data on people who are prohibited by law from purchasing firearms or from holding positions of responsibility with children, the elderly or the disabled.

Hatch said, "Utah will be the model for other states that don't have the capacity to protect the public from persons who pose a threat to the community not reflected in criminal history systems."

Utah was one of 18 states receiving similar grants on Wednesday.