Category Archives: Straw purchases

Republicans should take the lead to stop illegal gun sales

by The Inquirer Editorial Board, philly.com, April 21, 2017

It took the 2012 murder of a Plymouth Meeting police officer to break the chokehold the gun lobby has on Pennsylvania’s legislators. They passed the Brad Fox Law after its namesake was gunned down by a man who bought a gun from a straw buyer.

These are often profiteers who buy guns from legitimate sources and sell them to criminals who cannot legally purchase guns. No good comes from this arrangement, but the gun industry’s minions in the legislature constantly oppose efforts to stop the practice.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross has cited the flood of illegal guns as a major factor in the city’s outrageously high shooting rate. In 2016, police reported 2,257 aggravated assaults with guns, making shootings a major health crisis in the city.

But concerned leaders don’t even look to Harrisburg for help because Pennsylvania’s legislators seem more interested in enabling the bloodshed than stopping it.

Sometimes, though, there are small victories of common sense over the gun industry’s greed….

read more at philly.com

How Terrorist Sympathizers Exploit America’s Gun Laws

by Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress, 12/4/15

Federal investigators now believe that at least one of the perpetrators behind the San Bernardino attack may have pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. According to three law enforcement officials who spoke to CNN, female attacker Tashfeen Malik touted her support for the terrorist organization on Facebook after initiating the Wednesday attack, which left 14 people dead and 21 wounded.

The news comes just hours after lawmakers defeated an amendment, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), that would have required suspected terrorists seeking a gun to undergo a background check.

During floor debate over the amendment, supporters pointed to a Government Accountability Office report that found suspected terrorists bought firearms and explosives from licensed dealers 1,300 times between 2004 and 2014, and that in 90 percent of cases, potential terrorists passed a background check allowing them to legally purchase guns. Feinstein’s amendment would have also given the U.S. attorney general the discretion to block gun sales to terror suspects and provided a process for people erroneously denied a gun to have their rights restored.

Indeed, radical Islamic terror leaders have previously urged American sympathizers to exploit the nation’s lax gun laws in order to perpetrate domestic terror and lone-wolf and homegrown terrorists have increasingly relied on high-powered guns to carry out their attacks.

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?” American-born al-Qaeda spokesmen Adam Yahiye Gadahn said in a message to followers in 2011….

read more and check many links at ThinkProgress. Read the above-mentioned GAO report, “Firearm and Explosives Background Checks Involving Terrorist Watch List Records,” released June 22, 2009, here.

Guns store successfully sued for selling guns to straw purchaser

A gun store in Milwaukee was successfully sued by two police officers who were shot and wounded by an illegal gun getting into the hands of a criminal after a straw purchase at a local gun store. 10% of the ‘bad apple gun dealers,’ as the Brady Campaign calls them, supply 90% of the illegal guns. Here’s the story:

Two Officers Were Shot; Wisconsin Store Liable for Gun Sale

by ERIK ECKHOLM, New York Times, OCT. 13, 2015

MILWAUKEE — A jury late Tuesday awarded more than $5 million in damages to two police officers who were severely wounded with a pistol that a local gun shop sold to a straw buyer in 2009.

Deliberating only nine hours after a two-week trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the jury of eight women and four men decided the unusual lawsuit here in favor of the plaintiffs. Gun-control advocates hoped the verdict would encourage more victims and lawyers to sue what they say is a small minority of gun stores that make questionable sales.

The jury found that the store had been seriously negligent in selling the gun when there were signs that the ostensible purchaser was fronting for an 18-year-old who accompanied him to the store….

read more at New York Times