Centrist Republican Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have reached an agreement with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
“These guns are frequently sold, resold and trafficked across state lines resulting in the proliferation of illegal firearms in our communities,” said Collins on the Senate floor. “Straw purchasing and gun trafficking put guns in the hands of criminals.”
The bill strengthens the law prohibiting material false statements in connection with purchasing a firearm and strengthens penalties for purchasing a gun with intent to transfer it to someone involved in violent crime or drug trafficking.
What you may not know: The government does NOT prosecute straw purchase violations now, and has not since the ATF was moved into the Justice Department. Strenthening a law that is not enforced will have what effect on anything?
It would also outlaw illegal purchasers of firearms from smuggling weapons out of the country.
“The bill creates new specific criminal offenses for straw purchasing and the trafficking in firearms,” Collins said. “Instead of a slap on the wrist or treating this as if it were simply a paperwork violation, these crimes in our bill would be punishable by up to 25 years in prison.”
The truth is that the current specific offense for a straw purchase is already defined and is punishable by a fine and 5 years in prison. Is the new law more? Yes. But it’s not a wrist slap or a paperwork violation except as the DoJ exercises prosecutorial discretion. Collins and her clique are one of the following: a) illiterate, b) willfully uninformed, c) lying.