Leahy Offers Bipartisan Gun-Trafficking Bill; No Agreement on Background Checks


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy unveiled a new bipartisan proposal on gun trafficking, reports Politico. The legislation, sought by big-city mayors and sponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-Il.), will also have support from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me. and Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), giving it bipartisan cover other gun-control proposals lack. The trafficking bill is considered easier to pass than universal background checks, where the central legislative action on gun control in the Senate remains focused. On the background check bill, Vice President Joe Biden says, “Guess what – they want the law to say no record would be kept,” Biden said. “How in the hell would you know if that transaction would be real if no record can be kept?” On the trafficking bill, Leahy’s office says it specifically prohibits the trafficking and straw purchase of firearms and strengthens the law prohibiting material false statements when purchasing a firearm. “The bill establishes tough penalties for anyone who purchases a firearm or ammunition with the intent to transfer it to someone else, particularly in cases involving crimes of violence or drug trafficking, and expands existing trafficking law to make it a crime for an individual to smuggle firearms out of the U.S.,” Leahy says.

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