Friday U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and I introduced the “Stop Gun Trafficking and Strengthen Law Enforcement Act.” The legislation establishes a dedicated firearms trafficking statute to empower law enforcement to keep high-powered firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, including Mexican drug cartels.
This legislation prohibits the transfer of a gun when an individual knows the gun will be transferred to a person who is prohibited by law from carrying a gun or to a person who intends to use the gun illegally.
This legislation will provide Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms with the tools to keep illegal firearms from making their way into the hands of convicted felons who move guns across the southern border, utilizing a network of straw purchasers in the United States.
“These straw purchases act as an intermediary party for organized crime networks and the cartels by purchasing guns on their behalf,” according to Chris Schoppmeyer, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) Vice President for Agency Affairs.
Straw purchasers represent a significant problem in the United States. It is long past time that we take concrete steps to fight back against these individuals who funnel weapons into the hands of criminal and terrorist organizations. I’m proud to join Representative Maloney in taking this step to make our country safer.
As a part of the Oversight Committee’s investigation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, law enforcement agents on the ground have warned Congress that the lack of a dedicated firearms trafficking statute means that criminals who supply Mexican drug cartels with weapons of war are typically charged with mere paperwork violations – dealing in firearms without a license – and often only receive a sentence of probation.
This legislation is narrowly tailored to fill that void and help law enforcement stop illegal firearms trafficking.
is the representative of New York’s Fourth Congressional District. She was first elected in 1996.