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house Bill H.R. 4939

Should Penalties for Straw Purchases of Firearms be Increased?

Argument in favor

Straw purchases of firearms are the leading source of trafficked guns, which are in turn often used in violent crimes. Increasing the punishment for this crime will help both deter the crime itself and more severely punish those who commit it in a manner that’s commensurate with their crimes.

Scott's Opinion
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11/23/2019
Yes, if it’s actually a deterrent...but if it’s not enforced, then it’s a moot point. How about establishing minimum guidelines that judges have to follow too?
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Rebekah 's Opinion
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11/23/2019
Certainly! There’s no excuse for a mass shooting a week. Stop letting gun manufacturers set public policy!
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Ron's Opinion
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11/23/2019
Yeah right. The feds don’t prosecute these crimes to begin with, what would be the point of increasing the penalties when they don’t bother with it now. According to the feds only less then 18% of all gun related crimes are ever prosecuted. Like, what happened to the other 82% dude. I’d be happy if they got off their ass now.
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Argument opposed

Straw purchases of firearms are already illegal at the federal level and have strong penalties (a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment). There’s no need to further raise the punishment for this crime. Instead, Congress should crack down on gun sellers with a track record of selling guns that are later tied to crimes.

jimK's Opinion
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11/23/2019
If the current fines go as high as $250,000 and 10 years imprisonment, I have a hard time understanding the need for this legislation. If sentencing guidelines need adjustment, I believe this can handled without legislation. I feel this is one of those ‘look, I did something good!’ packages for election year creds- when, in fact it does nothing. I wish congress would take action to stop this time wasting practice.
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Robert (steve)'s Opinion
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11/23/2019
The fines and penalties are high enough. What is lacking is the enforcement, background checks and the willingness to go against the NRA because of the money. Completely tired of representatives whoring themselves out for campaign contributions. Things have to change, we have to get back to the point were right is right.
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larubia's Opinion
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11/23/2019
We don’t need another law to mimic one that already exists. We need enforcement of the current law!
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    Yes, if it’s actually a deterrent...but if it’s not enforced, then it’s a moot point. How about establishing minimum guidelines that judges have to follow too?
    Like (21)
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    If the current fines go as high as $250,000 and 10 years imprisonment, I have a hard time understanding the need for this legislation. If sentencing guidelines need adjustment, I believe this can handled without legislation. I feel this is one of those ‘look, I did something good!’ packages for election year creds- when, in fact it does nothing. I wish congress would take action to stop this time wasting practice.
    Like (78)
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    The fines and penalties are high enough. What is lacking is the enforcement, background checks and the willingness to go against the NRA because of the money. Completely tired of representatives whoring themselves out for campaign contributions. Things have to change, we have to get back to the point were right is right.
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    We don’t need another law to mimic one that already exists. We need enforcement of the current law!
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    Doesn’t matter how severe the penalty is if they’re not enforced.
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    Why do we have this redundant regulations? Straw purchases of firearms are already illegal at the federal level and have strong penalties (a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment). What benefit is there to further raise the punishment for this crime. Instead, Congress should crack down on gun sellers with a track record of selling guns that are later tied to crimes.
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    If the current fines go as high as $250,000 and 10 years imprisonment, I have a hard time understanding the need for this legislation. If sentencing guidelines need adjustment, I believe this can handled without legislation. I feel this is one of those ‘look, I did something good!’ packages for election year creds- when, in fact is does nothing. I wish congress would take action to stop this time wasting practice.
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    Fine and imprisonment are already sufficiently high as a deterrent by most American standards. Apply the effort and weight to cracking down on the sellers and rings above seller. It’s the same question as illicit drugs (I’m not classifying marijuana in this group) - do you hit the individual user, the street seller, the distributor or the producer?
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    No, officer Orozco died because her killer was a violent gang member with repeat offenses who was allowed to walk free. We need to properly enforce the law against violent offenders, not punish single moms who are pressured into buying a gun for their abusive boyfriend. This bill will do nothing to stop crime.
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    I am only going to say “nay” for one reason. Until you pass mandatory background checks on every gun purchase, including gun shows. Where not all dealers have an FFL, any felon can purchase a gun for him or herself. It does not say you are a felon on the drivers license. So all they have to do when asked is lie. Now most of the people at gun shows keep no records ie, serial numbers, makes, model. Because they don’t have an FFL and most are avoiding paying any sales taxes if they take cash. For now I say nay. Until you pass real legislation that will keep guns out of felons hands. And honestly any FFL dealer doesn’t mind doing a background check for someone who doesn’t have an FFL at these shows. They just charge a $15-$25 fee and extend that to the purchaser. You could still have gun shows but all unlicensed dealers would have to get FFL dealers at the show to run the background checks for them. None of this is asking too much.
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    Certainly! There’s no excuse for a mass shooting a week. Stop letting gun manufacturers set public policy!
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    Yes.
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    Yeah right. The feds don’t prosecute these crimes to begin with, what would be the point of increasing the penalties when they don’t bother with it now. According to the feds only less then 18% of all gun related crimes are ever prosecuted. Like, what happened to the other 82% dude. I’d be happy if they got off their ass now.
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    No increase
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    This is not enough. This bill tickles the edges of a great republican sickness for firearms, and does little to solve the problem except make the republican who wrote the bill feel sanctimonious. No, this is too little too late.
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    I think 10yrs in prison and fined up to $250,000 is a pretty stiff penalty. I also don’t believe this is a big source of guns being supplied for illegal markets so without statistical data to support this I don’t think increasing the penalty will stop anything. We just need to enforce the law as it is then anyone caught will be off the street for 10yrs and unable to purchase a firearm when he gets out so no repeat offenders.
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    Is this a way for ya’all to pay for the new socialism running rampant in Washington, DC? Try focusing on addictions and mental health and homelessness.
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    Anything to control the use of guns.
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    Fine and penalty increases are useless if not enforced. Enforce the laws already on the books and stop with these toothless changes. Sometimes I think you politicians want more crime in order to crate more laws!
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    Yes, but this is not enough. We need a comprehensive gun control law NOW!
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