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Glendale News Press

Rep. Adam Schiff introduces bill to impose penalties on 'straw purchasers' of guns

11:15 AM PST, January 23, 2013

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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

Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal