COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ The ex-convict accused of shooting at the White House was stopped from buying a pistol a month earlier when a gun dealer ran a background check on him.

No such on-the-spot check was required when he bought the rifle he allegedly used at the White House.

''The law did what it was intended to do in terms of preventing Francisco Duran from purchasing a handgun on Sept. 30,'' said Jim Borowski, head of the state bureau of investigation's crime information center.

The bureau runs checks on prospective handgun buyers in compliance with the Brady handgun control law Congress passed in February.

The owner of High Country Wholesale Firearms, James Wear, said Wednesday that Duran tried to buy the pistol on Sept. 30, about two weeks after buying the semiautomatic rifle seized in the Oct. 29 incident at the White House.

On his handgun application, as on his earlier application to buy a rifle, Duran did not mention his felony assault conviction, Wear said.

Felons are barred from possession of firearms. While federal law does require rifle buyers to fill out a questionnaire, there is no waiting period for a background check before the purchase is completed. The Brady Law includes a five-day waiting period so authorities can check handgun buyers' backgrounds.

Duran's attempt to buy the pistol came on the day he left home in Security, telling his wife he was going to stock up on material for target practice. The next she heard of him, he was accused of the White House shooting.