Rep. Maloney on House GOP Gun Measure to Be Voted on Next Week
Following today’s news that House Republican leaders will be including a gun-related measure similar to that of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in an anti-terrorism legislative package to be voted on next week, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) released the following statement:
“The gun bill that the GOP is bringing to a vote next week, which is similar to the bill by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that failed last week in the Senate, is nothing more than an effort to paper over the very real gaps in our background check system. By allowing the Justice Department just 72 hours to file and argue a petition to deny the gun transfer or purchase, many dangerous terror suspects will still be able to get weapons simply by running out the clock. In addition, the standard of probable cause may be too high for many terror suspects—if prosecutors had enough proof that a suspect was planning an attack, there would be an arrest warrant or the suspect could be in custody. Anyone involved in activities warranting placement on the terror watch list or the No Fly list shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun – period.
“In addition, this proposal still leaves in place the huge loopholes that have undermined the background check system for years. Known criminals and terror suspects can still buy guns without a background check at a gun show or by browsing internet ads. Guns are funneled to criminal networks across the country by trafficking rings that exploit our weak laws. This status quo is unacceptable, and I urge Speaker Ryan to bring real solutions like the bipartisan King-Thompson universal background check bill or my bipartisan Gun Trafficking Prevention Act to the floor for a vote!”
Congresswoman Maloney’s Gun Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 3455)
Under current law, making a “straw purchase”—buying a gun on behalf of a prohibited person—is treated as a paperwork violation. As a result, prosecutors don’t have the tools they need to infiltrate gun trafficking rings and stem the tide of weapons to dangerous individuals.
Despite the best efforts of states like New York, traffickers still funnel guns onto our streets. In our state last year, 3,188 crime guns were purchased out-of-state, more than twice as many as sourced from in-state.
Maloney’s Gun Trafficking Prevention Act is bipartisan legislation that would strengthen penalties for straw purchasers by creating a federal statute against gun trafficking so that law enforcement can infiltrate these networks.