NYAGV was on hand to support Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as she introduced the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015 at a press conference in July 12. This federal bill would crack down on the daily flow of illegal guns onto streets throughout the country.
The bill defines gun trafficking and straw purchasing (when an individual purchases a firearm for someone who is prohibited from obtaining one on their own) as federal crimes. It also gives law enforcement officials the tools necessary to effectively prosecute those who engage in gun trafficking and straw purchasing.
NYAGV’s Phil Jonas, Board Vice President, spoke at the event about how the lack of strong federal gun laws results in illegal guns from other states flooding our communities. Despite New York State’s robust gun laws, 70% of the guns used in crimes in the state come from out of state, mostly from states with weak gun laws such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida.
Since there is currently no federal law defining gun trafficking or straw purchasing as criminal offenses, traffickers are prosecuted under the same laws as those who traffic in things like chickens, and straw purchasers can only be charged with “paperwork” violations.
Find out more:
- Senator Gillibrand’s announcement about the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015
- “Kirsten Gillibrand will again push bill to make gun trafficking a federal crime,” NY Daily News, July 12, 2015
- ATF Firearms Trace Data, New York, 2013, Department of Justice, Alcohol, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives