11:15 AM PST, January 23, 2013
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would impose a two-year prison sentence for people who buy guns in bulk explicitly to resell them.
The Straw Purchaser Penalty Enhancement Act goes after the so-called “straw purchasers” who buy firearms in bulk and then turn around and sell them without background checks, often to gangs and cartels, according to Schiff.
The congressman unsuccessfully introduced a version of the bill last session. The new iteration allows judges to reduce sentences for some defendants.
Current laws treat straw purchasing as a paperwork violation, with light penalties.
“Straw purchasing is not a ‘paperwork’ violation -- it’s a serious crime that has led to a horrendous increase in criminal access to firearms,” Schiff said in a statement Wednesday.
The bill would also require that gun buyers be notified at the time of purchase that lying about the true purchaser of a gun is a serious offense.
The straw purchaser law is the second piece of gun control legislation Schiff -- a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force – introduced this week.
On Tuesday, he introduced legislation to roll back immunity guarantees for gun manufacturers and sellers.
-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News