Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the following statement today after the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 passed out of the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote of 11-7 with the support of Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA). Gillibrand has worked for several weeks with Senator Grassley to improve a proposal originally introduced with Senator Kirk (R-IL). The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 harmonizes two previously existing proposals by Gillibrand-Kirk and Leahy-Durbin into one bipartisan product. This legislation provides law enforcement officials with the tools they need to investigate and prosecute the all-too-common practices of gun trafficking and straw purchasing, where an individual buys a firearm for someone else who is prohibited from obtaining one on their own. This bill for the first time will create specific prohibitions to deter and punish the dangerous practices of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms, and keep illegal guns off the streets and away from criminal networks and street gangs. Currently, there is no federal law that defines gun trafficking or straw purchasing as a crime:
“I am pleased this common sense proposal has been approved by the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support after weeks of doing the hard work discussing how to best give law enforcement the tools they need to keep illegal guns off the streets and out of the hands of dangerous people.
“The absence of any federal law defining gun trafficking as a crime in this country is shocking. Cracking down on gun trafficking and keeping illegal guns off our streets to save lives is not a Republican or Democratic idea, it is just a good idea. By cracking down on straw purchasers, illegal gun traffickers and their vast criminal networks, we can stop the flow of illegal guns and reduce gun crime.
“I thank Senator Grassley for working with us to pass this important bill which should now pass Congress with broad bipartisan support.”