Debate Magazine

Stiffer Penalties for Straw Purchasing Proposed

Posted on the 09 March 2012 by Mikeb302000
Stiffer Penalties for Straw Purchasing Proposed
NPR reports
A Democratic Congressman has introduced legislation that would impose tough new penalties on people who lie when they buy guns.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) says the bill, the Straw Purchaser Penalty Enhancement Act, would give federal agents new tools to crack down on the flow of weapons across the Southwest border into Mexico.
Nowadays, many episodes where people lie about the true identity of the purchaser of guns, or engage in straw purchases, never get prosecuted at all, Schiff says in an interview with NPR.
"The penalties are so insufficient that prosecutors don't want to bring the cases and more than that you can't get sufficient cooperation when you indict them to roll them up and use their testimony against higher ups in the gun smuggling organization," he says.
This is absolutely useless without also requiring registration of guns. How else are the feds going to know if a straw buyer turns over the purchase to someone else?
A combination of licensing, registration AND stiffer penalties for straw purchasing would make a huge difference. But, unfortunately it's like the illegal drug business. There are ways to stop it, put the powerful interests, some who claim to want it stopped, oppose the very regulations that would do so. Same with the gun business. The NRA wants the fewest restrictions possible for their members and the gun manufacturers want to sell as much as possible. These people,as well as the individual gun-rights gun owner, are unscrupulous and self-centered. They don't care what's best for anyone but themselves, and even in that they're often mistaken.
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