Langevin Introduces Gun Dealer Legislation
December 5, 2005
Brady Campaign voices support for strengthening current practice
(Warwick, R.I.)- Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced today that he recently introduced bipartisan legislation to stop illegal gun trafficking with 13 cosponsors, including Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT). The Crackdown on Deadbeat Dealers Act aims to increase dealer compliance in an effort to keep guns out of criminal hands.
"If passed, this bill will hold gun dealers, or Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), accountable when they knowingly sell guns to criminals," said Langevin. "My single purpose for this legislation is to make our communities safer. Real protection means providing authorities with the strongest possible mechanisms to prevent unlawful purchases."
The Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act of 2005 will:
- Increase the allowable number of annual Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives inspections of firearms dealers from one to three
- Raise the maximum criminal penalty from 5 to10 years for dealers who knowingly and willfully violate the law by committing serious record-keeping offenses that can hinder tracing guns used in crimes
- Authorize the ATF to suspend a firearms license after notice and the opportunity for a hearing for violations of the Gun Control Act of 1968
- Permit the ATF to terminate a firearms dealer's license upon felony conviction
"This is a great piece of legislation that would help ensure that federal law enforcement officers have the tools they need to scrutinize the worst gun dealers in America," said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "I want to commend Congressman Langevin for his work on this proposal. If passed, this bill would help us to stop the deadly flow of firearms into criminal hands."
Americans for Gun Safety in 2004 released a study concluding that 1 percent of the nation's gun dealers sell 57 percent of the guns used in crimes.
These study results also support the ATF's findings in a 1998 study showing that over 50 percent of the firearms used in crimes nationwide were traced to just 1.2 percent of the nation's gun dealers. By conducting crime gun traces, the ATF can analyze why such a large number of firearms from this small proportion of dealers are used illegally and develop investigative strategies to stop trafficking.