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by
Bridget Johnson

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February 5, 2013 - 12:49 pm

The first House bipartisan legislation in the 113th Congress gun-control push was introduced today — and, like the first bipartisan gun bill on the Senate side, deals with trafficking.

The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 was put forward by GOP Reps. Scott Rigell (Va.) and Patrick Meehan (Pa.), and on the Democratic side Reps. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (Md.). Maloney is a longtime gun-control advocate.

The bill amends Chapter 44 of title 18 to create a new Section 932 to address firearms trafficking (with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison) and prohibits purchasing, attempting to purchase, or transferring a firearm with the intent to deliver the firearm to a person known or believe to be prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal or state law.

It would intentionally provide false or misleading material information on an ATF transaction record form in connection to the purchase or transfer of a firearm. It also provides an exception for gifts that would not otherwise violate the law and certain transfers at death.

“This legislation is directed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Rigell. “The murders of our first responders in New York on Christmas Eve with a straw-purchased firearm was a tragedy, and we must find common ground to lessen the level of gun violence in the United States. That is what the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 does.”

Rigell, who represents a heavily military constituency in Virginia’s 2nd District, is a lifelong member of the NRA and gun owner.

“This common sense legislation has bipartisan support, and when we find common ground, we must embrace it, celebrate it, and act on it,” he said.

Last week, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) unveiled their Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 that would for the first time make gun trafficking a federal crime.

The bill would make it illegal to sell or otherwise transfer 2 or more firearms to someone whom the seller knows, or has reasonable cause to know, is prohibited by law from owning a firearm (e.g. felon, convicted domestic abuser); purchase or otherwise acquire 2 or more firearms if the recipient knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that such receipt would be in violation of law; or provide false information on an ATF firearms transaction record form (e.g. straw purchasing). Exceptions are made for gifts and inheritances.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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