Sen. Chuck Schumer says if someone admits illegal drug use to a federal official, he should not be allowed to buy a gun.
The New York Democrat suggests that military recruiters and other officials report admissions of drug use to a national database.
Schumer says Jared Loughner's alleged drug use could have prevented his purchase of a gun. Loughner is accused of killing six people in Tucson, Ariz., and shooting congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
A military official in Washington said the Army rejected Loughner in 2008 because he failed a drug test. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because privacy laws prevent the military from disclosing such information about an individual's application.
Schumer made his proposals to the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.