ABA Supports Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 5, 2013 — In a letter to Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Patrick Meehan, Scott Rigell and Elijah Cummings, American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows expressed the association’s support for the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 introduced Feb. 5, 2013. The legislation, which has been embraced by the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, would stiffen penalties and increase the likelihood of prosecution for persons who attempt to avoid the background check required to purchase a gun.
“Straw purchases”—where an associate purchases a firearm for another who is often disqualified—are the single greatest factor in illegal gun trafficking. However, the crime is difficult to prosecute and rarely prioritized by federal prosecutors because it only carries modest criminal penalties. Straw purchases are associated with criminal acts, gang violence and the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
In the letter, ABA President Bellows hailed the proposed legislation as “a narrow and straightforward new law we believe will result in a substantially more enforceable background check system.”
ABA President Bellows’ letter to Rep. Maloney and cosponsors is here.