HARTFORD, CT - Attorney General George Jepsen on Tuesdeay praised a bipartisan group of legislators for their introduction of the federal Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, a set of policies aimed at cracking down on so-called straw purchasers and individuals who oversee illegal firearm trafficking organizations.
“The proposals put forth today by a bipartisan group of lawmakers are practical and common-sense initiatives aimed at addressing a real problem,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “The goal of this legislation is to take action against those who knowingly put firearms into the hands of those who are by law prohibited from owning them. This is a tool for our law enforcement officials to address what we know is a serious problem in our communities: illegal guns.”
The proposed federal legislation would prohibit the purchase or transfer of a firearm if the purchaser intends to transfer the firearm to a person who is legally prohibited from having a firearm under federal or state law. It also would prohibit intentionally providing false or misleading information on an ATF transaction record form in connection with the purchase or transfer of a firearm, including a specific statement that the person receiving the gun is the actual buyer of the gun.
Violations would be subject to a fine, imprisonment up to 20 years or both. The legislation also includes a proposed five-year imprisonment enhancement for firearm trafficking kingpins or organizers who oversee at least five people and violate the law. Conspiracies to violate firearm trafficking laws would be subject to 10 years imprisonment.
Additionally, the legislation would instruct the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review the penalty structure for offenses based on the number of firearms involved and amend, if appropriate, the sentencing guidelines.
“In our cities and towns, and on streets in Connecticut and across our country, we hear reports from our law enforcement officials about the violence caused when guns are obtained through straw purchasers,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “I commend these lawmakers for bringing this legislation forward, and I’m hopeful that the state legislature here in Connecticut will take a similar, bipartisan approach as we continue this important discussion in order to make our communities safer.”
The proposals were detailed today in Washington D.C. by a bipartisan coalition of proponents, including Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.; Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va.