Today, six additional Republican and Democratic Representatives joined as co-sponsors of H.R. 452, The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, which was introduced yesterday by Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pennsylvania), Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), Scott Rigell (R-Virginia), and Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). The bill, which has been endorsed by law enforcement officials from across the country, is the first bipartisan bill in the House during this Congress to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for "straw purchasers" who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own.
The additional co-sponsors announced today are:
Rep. Peter T. King (R-New York), Former Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security: "I have long supported efforts to crack down on illegal gun trafficking. This bill will make our citizens safer by giving law enforcement the tools they need to take gun-traffickers off the streets who are funneling firearms to felons, drug cartels and gang members. I am proud to be a part of a bipartisan group of members offering a solution to this problem."
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan), Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary: "We need to give law enforcement agents and prosecutors the statutory authority they need to more effectively pursue straw purchasers and disrupt the illegal gun market. This bill is a critical part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence."
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania): "I'm proud to add my name to this bipartisan, common sense proposal to give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to put those skirting our gun laws behind bars."
Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois): "My city -- Chicago, Illinois -- has long been a leader in efforts to seriously reduce the number of illegal guns in our society, which has been my position for years. The time has come to pass this legislation and to make it stick. "
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-New York): "If we're going to prevent the illegal trafficking of guns, we must close loopholes and strengthen penalties for those who knowingly participate. Straw purchases are simply another vehicle through which prohibited persons can obtain weapons. As a former law enforcement agent, I support strengthening the tools available to combat these transfers, so that we can make our communities safer by keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals and those who wish to do us harm."
Rep. Ron Barber (D-Arizona): "Southern Arizonans who live and work along the U.S.-Mexico border do not feel safe in their homes and on their lands. Heavily armed members of drug cartels remain a concern for many of my constituents. I fully support this measure which would help to address the serious and continuing problem of firearms trafficking along and across the border and throughout our country."