Below The Radar: STOP Straw Purchases Act

Don't Lie for the Other Guy
Below The Radar: STOP Straw Purchases Act

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Second Amendment supporters can sometimes tell if legislation will improve the situation with regards to our rights very easily, as is the case with the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act. Some other pieces of legislation, like the TRACE Act, can be quickly rejected because we can tell it just infringes on our rights. But sometimes, legislation can be proposed that isn’t clearly good or bad at first glance. The HR 4939, the STOP Straw Purchases Act, is one such piece of legislation where it’s not an easy call.

The legislation was introduced by Representative Don Bacon (R-NE), who has a solid record of supporting our Second Amendment rights. According to a release from his office, the legislation is intended to increase penalties for straw purchasers. Straw purchasers, in the context of Second Amendment issues, are people with clean records who are used to acquire guns for people prohibited from even possessing firearms under the provisions of 18 USC 922.

The release notes that current law calls for a prison sentence of up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000. The legislation increases it to up to 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Among its provisions is a requirement that the 4473 form be edited to spell out the penalties for making a straw purchase. But it also creates two new criminal statutes that directly target those who run “straw purchase” operations.

“Most of the gun-related crime is committed by someone who should not have access to a firearm, but they are able to get it because someone else makes the purchase. Local law enforcement have said this is one of their top priorities,” Rep. Bacon said in the release. “This was the case with Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco who was killed in the line of duty and the gun used was obtained through a straw purchase. The purchaser walked away with a slap on the wrist. By closing loopholes and increasing maximum punishments for violators, this legislation will help to deter criminals from illegally obtaining firearms and bring justice and safety to our affected communities.”

For the most part, this sounds good. The use of the word “loopholes” does constitute something that is not quite a red flag – it is often used by anti-Second Amendment extremists in efforts to enact new gun control laws – but on the whole, increased penalties for straw purchases is not a bad thing, and hammering those who run “straw purchase” operations could do a lot of good.

The problem is that the current laws are pretty tough already. Someone who travels across state lines to deliver a firearm to a convicted felon who wants to use it to, say, rob a bank is facing serious prison time under 18 USC 922(d) and 18 USC 924(h) to the tune of up to 20 years in prison. For one gun. In 1999, the NRA ran a rough calculation on a small-scale gun trafficking op (not involving straw purchases), that had a maximum prison sentence of almost 1,000 years in prison. The big problem: They are not used, even as Project Exile showed that enforcement of some laws could work.

So, in essence, passing the STOP Straw Purchases Act would be an exercise in appearing to do something – but in all likelihood, we would never see these laws enforced or those tough sentences used to deter “straw purchases.” That being said, the legislation does make for a very good talking point, and unlike the TRACE Act or the Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act of 2019, it targets those who break the law. There are good arguments on either side of this bill.

So, read the text, talk it over with fellow Second Amendment supporters, and whether you decide to urge its passage or defeat, contact your Representative and Senators and politely make your case.


About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

Subscribe
Notify of
34 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ej harbet
Ej harbet
6 months ago

IF they enforce it! If i had my way id build new prisons for the dirtbags.they’d get the message soon!

RoyD
RoyD
6 months ago

A “straw purchase” also occurs when a person who is legally capable of owning/buying a firearm gives money to someone else to purchase a firearm for them for whatever reason having nothing to do with legalities.
For those who purchase guns for those who legally can’t have them a bullet to the head should suffice.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

It has not always been that way. That interpretation of that part of the unconstitutional GCA is a recent twist by an obama judge.
Not being able to ever own a gun again is also a recent malum prohibitum notion. It turns every felony, and some nonfelonies, into life sentences.

Ej harbet
Ej harbet
6 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

Hmmm i change my mind from imprison to neckshot! If you buy a gun for a prohibited possessor you get the next bullet after his.of course my list of pro pos would be shorter because crimes that make you a pro pos should earn you a bullet in many cases

Doszap
Doszap
6 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

I have seen MANY STRAW PURCHASE by illegal females with the INTENDED Possessor present, picking out the weapon of choice.
The Dealer has no way of LEGALLY not permitting the females of buying the weapons IF they pass NICS and have the proper I.D.,pisses them off, but they do not want a MAJOR racial Lawsuit coming down on them.
They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Frank
Frank
6 months ago

The laws on the books don’t amount to a hill of beans if they are not enforced. Take the armpit of the midwest – Chicago Illinois for example. The NRA did a study there and found something like 70% of all gun crimes guns were committed with guns purchased by straw buyers. The number of straw buyers prosecuted was almost zero. My personal opinion is that liberals would rather have a situation where gun violence is tolerated and is used as a reason to pass more gun laws. They could go after straw buyers but they don’t so you have… Read more »

Stag
Stag
6 months ago

Background checks are infringement and there would be no such thing as a “straw purchase” if it weren’t for these unconstitutional laws. #AllArmsLawsAreUnconstitutional

Mack
Mack
6 months ago

This ‘Moderation’ nonsense takes too long.

Let’s try this for Harold’s sake:

https://www.ammoland.com/2012/09/blind-identification-database-system/#axzz6CdckHrmG

That would mean an end to gun registration.

So no need for STOP.

Mack
Mack
6 months ago
Reply to  Mack

Oh, good; the comment below has appeared quickly.

I take back my ‘Moderation’ complaint. VOID.

Now – if we could just VOID the GCA, that would be great!

Mack
Mack
6 months ago

What the Hell is wrong with you, Harold — have you lost your mind?

Did you overlook who the co-sponsor is? Here:
https://giffords.org/press-release/2018/11/ca-39_giffords_win_cisneros/

Have you actually read the text as you claim? Instead of ending gun registration, it perpetuates it.

Some of us actually prefer the BIDS alternative:

http://bidssystem.blogspot.com/

Ideally, we need to get rid of the GCA ’68.

Your “exercise in appearing to do something …” makes you sound like Mitt Romney.

No thank you.

jack mac
jack mac
6 months ago

Hutchison, are you allowed to write freely? Are you being over pressured by some Directors on the Board of the NRA? I am politely urging you to resist any such pressure.

jack mac
jack mac
6 months ago

A fact of reality that is disregarded by way to many people is: A free person can access anything as any free person can access. If the rights of individual free citizens where not allowed to be denied, there would be no Straw purchases; there would be no background checks. All laws hampering the free exchange of firearms are continuing acts of oppression. All private free citizens are now oppressed, many more so than others, and it is continuing to increase. This oppression can be stopped by those desiring to do so. It is to late to prevent it as… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
6 months ago

quote: “the gun used was obtained through a straw purchase. The purchaser walked away with a slap on the wrist.” RIGHT THERE is the problem……… IF it was a straw purchase put that gun in that killer’s hands, he is already a felon in possession, five to ten years. Purchasing the gun outside of ATF rules, etc, knowing he’s Prohibited, another five to ten. His past record and terms of release likely have enhancements for future firearm violations, more time to serve on his old busts. But here is another thing that drives this statistic: he murdered someone. The biblical… Read more »

Nun Ya
Nun Ya
6 months ago

Nothing about this, or politicians in general, pass the smell test. Generally speaking, generals, in general, don’t pass the smell test.

KDad
KDad
6 months ago

Maybe it would be better to change existing law to provide for mandatory prison sentences of 10 years for the first offense, 20 years for the second offense and removing the ability of the Court to impose lighter sentences.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  KDad

That is a terrific first sentence!

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
6 months ago

ALL GUN LAWS ARE INFRINGEMENTS. THIS WOULD CRIMINALIZE BUYING A FIREARM AS AN UNREGISTERED GIFT. AND HAROLD IS STILL A CAPITULATING WEENIE. SIGN THE PETITION!! http://chng.it/nwrb2gvTKW

StWayne
StWayne
6 months ago

Shutting down the straw purchase avenue will only serve to open up the door to home invasion because a bad guy with enough intention will get his gun somehow someway. If we could only get all these liberal judges to enforce those laws already on the books, we would have less politicians seeking a way to get noticed because they “Just did something!”

ChiptheBarber
ChiptheBarber
6 months ago

Increasing the maximum penalty will have little to no effect when the perp is charged by a plea deal hungry prosecutor or goes before a liberal judge. Increasing the MINIMUM would certainly be the way to go if “something’s gotta be done”. We have PLENTY of laws already on the books—ENFORCE THEM! We actually know that this tactic takes dangerous criminals off the street.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago

@OV, Hey, you’re right! The grabbers must be up to something else.

Arny
Arny
6 months ago

So in other words Obama & his thugs will be going to jail for a long time ? Fast & Furious took how many lives now ? Oh that’s right these laws don’t apply for the real criminals. Iran Contra was another. We have had many examples involving our Govt & affiliates. But let’s look the other way when they’re involved, No prosecutions !

Arizona
Arizona
6 months ago

Harold says to kiss the ring.

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
6 months ago
Reply to  Arizona

…then bend over and spread your cheeks. Thus Little Harold has proclaimed it, thus shall it be. Thus, we will petition him outta here. http://chng.it/nwrb2gvTKW

Arizona
Arizona
6 months ago

Argh! Harold, you did it again! Wishy washy when aren’t trying to order people about!
“There are good arguments on either side of this bill.” No, no there aren’t. Twenty five years for a straw purchase. When is the last time a hoodlum from the city got 25 years for capping someone?

Laddyboy
Laddyboy
6 months ago

I have sent GOA money via checks to become a “life time member”. I have been in LIMBO for almost a month. I have contacted them multiple times. STILL, I have gotten nothing but the COLD SHOULDER. This is very discouraging for me. I REFUSE to send them any more funds until they correct this problem.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  Laddyboy

@Laddy, Probably some clerical delay. I did not know that GOA had a life membership. How much is it?

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
6 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

It just recently went up to $1,000 but they offer multiple payment options, including monthly $20 payments: https://gunowners.org/life-membership/

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  Will Flatt

@WF, Oh, thank you.

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
6 months ago
Reply to  Laddyboy

Give it a bit of time, Laddy. Try calling or writing to them, and inquire that way. They’re swamped with all the people dumping the NRA and joining them! They’ve gained a million members just this past year.

tetejaun
tetejaun
6 months ago

Really? Where is their court action on Red Flag laws?
Only the NRA-ILA is taking states and cities to court who have enacted Red Flag laws.
Meanwhile, GOA is whining about bump stock toys.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

@ttj, Oh … did Fat Wayne the Boss open his coin purse?

Arizona
Arizona
6 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

Only the NRA is stating publicly that Virginia gun owners need to compromise with Northam to pass common sense gun control. Spiker or whatever his name is, the head of NRA-ILA in VA.

NRA = traitors

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
6 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

GOA is in the courts fighting Red Flags, fighting the bumpstock ban – WHICH HAS A LOT MORE TO DO WITH ALL SEMIAUTOS THAN A PLASTIC STOCK – And GOA is fighting at the state level, too. MEANWHILE NRA SITS ON ITS HANDS!

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
6 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

@TeeHee Page 78 Dillon Blue Press Mag Feb 2020 Larry Pratt is quoted answering this when questioned about how his religious faith factors with his GOA work. “It’s important to me to make sure what I’m doing squares with my religious beliefs. The Bible is clear, using violence is legitimate in self defense.”

Has Wayne ever stated such a thing?

That statement is why I joined GOA a week later.