Cisneros and Bacon Introduce STOP Straw Purchases Act

November 6, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan legislation would help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-CA-39) and Representative Don Bacon (R-NE-02) introduced the Stop Straw Purchases Act. Their bipartisan legislation would increase punishments for an illegal firearm purchase, or straw purchase, which occurs when a purchaser is actually buying a gun on behalf of someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one. Research suggests that there are more than 30,000 attempted straw purchases each year.

“We must do more to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country and get illegal firearms off the streets and out of our communities,” said Rep. Cisneros. “Data shows that straw purchases account for a high volume of trafficked guns and that gun dealers are often willing to sell guns to people who are asking to purchase guns on behalf of someone else. I’m proud to join Congressman Bacon in this common-sense legislation that supports our law enforcement and keeps guns out of the hands of those who should not have access to a firearm.”

“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,” said Rep. Bacon. “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.”

A straw purchase is a federal crime and applies to purchases for those who are prohibited by law from possessing a gun or someone who does not want their name associated with the purchase. The Stop Straw Purchases Act will increase the maximum punishment for the purchaser and the receiver of the firearm to include a fine up to $750,000, and a prison term for up to 25 years. Current law calls for a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years in prison. In addition, a “Kingpin Clause” in the legislation would include anyone trying to traffic weapons across state lines and subject the organizer or “kingpin” of the operation to a fine of $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both.