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Bill To Bloc Criminals' Access To Guns Introduced In Senate

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A bipartisan Bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to close loopholes that criminals exploit to obtain firearms through straw purchasing and firearms trafficking.

The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2019, sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), makes it a federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms.

The bill has a provision to impose tough penalties for "anyone who transfers a firearm with reasonable cause to believe that it will be used in a drug crime, crime of violence, or act of terrorism."

Leahy said the current straw purchasing and firearms trafficking laws are weak, and do little to prevent criminals from illegally obtaining firearms.

"Chicago and cities across the country are flooded with guns that have been illicitly trafficked into the area from states with weaker gun laws," said Durbin. "Often, these guns wind up in the hands of people who are legally barred from possessing one. Our bill would crack down on this gun trafficking and straw purchasing and help increase safety in our communities."

According to Collins, the bipartisan bill would strengthen federal law by making it easier for prosecutors to go after gun traffickers and straw purchasers. She made it clear that this measure does not affect lawful purchases from federal firearms licensees.

The bill is supported by many law enforcement organizations, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Tactical Officers Association, and the National District Attorneys Association.

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