Congresswoman Kelly Introduces Legislation to Make Straw Purchases a Federal Crime

Congresswoman Robin Kelly
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (Source: Public Eye)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Congresswoman Robin Kelly on July 30 introduced the Preventing Gun Trafficking Act, H.R. 4116, legislation to make straw purchases a federal crime.

“One of our greatest challenges to combatting gun violence in our communities is that Illinois is an oasis of commonsense safety laws surrounded by a desert of misguided ‘guns everywhere, rules nowhere’ ideology. In fact, more than half of all crime guns used in Chicago come from outside Illinois, largely from the bordering states of Indiana and Wisconsin, which have extremely weak laws,” said Congresswoman Kelly.

The recent tragedy in Gilroy shows the devasting impact of interstate gun trafficking, especially when bordering states have vastly different gun safety laws.

A straw purchase occurs when someone buys a gun for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction, often those prohibited from purchasing a gun.

According to a 2000 ATF report, straw purchasing accounts for more than 46% of all firearm trafficking investigations.

Congresswoman Kelly’s legislation includes language specifically exempting gifts. “In many sportsmen families, your first hunting rifle is a right of passage. It’s often purchased by a loving family member with no intent to circumvent the law,” added Congresswoman Kelly. “My bill respects this tradition by clearly making a reasonable gift exemption.”

Congresswoman Kelly is the vice-chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. During her service in the Illinois General Assembly, her passed bill was bipartisan, state-level legislation to combat straw purchases.

Congresswoman Kelly’s legislation is co-sponsored by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL07), Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA06), Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA06) and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI). It has also won the endorsement of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Too often, law enforcement faces the tough job of solving a gun crime after a tragedy. It’s time to put more focus on stopping criminals before they get a firearm and put communities at risk. A federal trafficking statute will give ATF agents and local law enforcement the ability to go after unscrupulous gun sellers and the criminals to whom they sell before shots are ever fired. Gun trafficking isn’t just a paperwork violation—it’s a serious offense that makes the country’s gun violence crisis worse. We thank Rep. Kelly for her leadership on this important legislation that will save lives,” said David Chipman, Giffords Senior Advisor, and Former ATF Special Agent.

This is news from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.