This bill — the STOP Straw Purchases Act — would amend the federal criminal code to establish new offenses for straw purchases of firearms. Specifically, this bill would create new federal offenses for inducing another person to make false statements to a licensed gun dealer about the actual identity of a firearm purchaser; and for obtaining a firearm by inducing another person to make false statements to a licensed gun dealer claiming to be the actual firearm purchaser.
This bill would also establish an enhanced penalty for a criminal offense involving a false statement to a licensed gun dealer in connection with a firearm acquisition, if the false statement misrepresents the actual identify of a firearm purchaser. The maximum punishment for the purchase and the receiver (defined as a person who transfers a firearm with reasonable cause to believe it will be used in a drug crime or violent crime) would be increased to a fine of up to $750,000 and a prison term of up to 25 years. Current law allows a fine of up to $250,000 and a person term of up to 10 years.
This bill also includes a “Kingpin Clause” that would make it illegal for any person affecting interstate commerce to have straw purchasers acquire firearms to enable a gun trafficking enterprise. This clause would affect anyone trying to traffic weapons across state lines, and would subject the kingpin to a fine of up to $1 million and a prison term of up to 30 years.
Finally, this bill would direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to include a statement outlining penalties for acting as the straw purchaser of a firearm on the Firearms Transaction Record form.