Maloney applauds Supreme Court decision upholding federal law against straw gun purchases, says Congress should strengthen the penalties

Jun 16, 2014
Press Release

Press Contact: Mike Morosi (202) 225-7944

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today applauded the Supreme Court’s decision in Abramski v. United States and reiterated her call for stricter penalties for illegal straw purchases. Maloney is the sponsor of H.R. 452, The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that makes gun trafficking a federal crime and increases penalties for straw purchases.

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court made it absolutely clear—hiding the true identity of a gun buyer from federally-licensed firearms dealers, or straw purchasing, is a federal crime.

“Straw purchases are a major source of weapons for those engaged in the illegal trafficking of firearms. These weapons often end up on our streets and are a significant contributor to gun violence in New York City and across the country.

“This decision is a very positive step in the gun safety reform movement, but more must be done to stop the illegal trafficking of firearms. I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to give federal prosecutors more tools to go after gun traffickers by making gun trafficking a federal crime and strengthening penalties against straw purchasers.”


Maloney introduced H.R. 452, The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, with Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to directly addresses concerns by law enforcement officials who testified before Congress that a dedicated firearms trafficking statute would help them combat the flow of thousands of firearms to violent criminals, international drug cartels, and a host of other dangerous people. 

Specifically, the legislation:

  • Prohibits Firearms Trafficking:  The bill prohibits the purchase or transfer of a firearm if the intent is to deliver it to someone else who is prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing one.
  • Strengthens Penalties for Straw Purchasers:  The bill strengthens penalties to up to 20 years imprisonment for “straw purchasers” who intentionally provide false or misleading material information when they purchase firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees.
  • Enhances Penalties for Kingpins and Multiple Illegal Purchases:  The bill provides enhanced penalties for organizers or managers of firearms trafficking networks and recommends that the Sentencing Commission increase penalties for multiple illegal gun purchases.