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ST. LOUIS – A bill requiring St. Louis gun dealers to alert police when a firearms purchase is denied because of a criminal background check is the latest step in addressing violence in a city beset by gun crimes.

St. Louis aldermen unanimously gave final approval to the bill Friday. Supporters say 30% of criminals who try to purchase guns but fail through background checks are arrested within five years. The bill awaits the mayor’s signature.

Both of Missouri’s big cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, have among the highest homicide rates in the nation. Both are seeking to address the problem through tougher gun laws.

The situation in St. Louis is made more tragic by the fact that 13 of those killed in shootings this year were children.