Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Republicans Castigated For Not Agreeing To Make Something Already Illegal Even Illegaler!

Sometimes you can't make this up. The Detroit Free Press, whether out of sheer ignorance or partisanship (or indeed both, this is the Freep after all), is castigating Republicans for not glomming on to a Senate gun control bill that would make straw purchases illegal.

The problem is, straw purchases already are illegal.

The Detroit Free Press: Editorial: GOP foolishly defends gun sellers' greed

In fact, its already a 10 year felony to commit a straw purchase:

18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) prohibits any person:

[I]n connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition.

Subject to limited exceptions, 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A) imposes criminal penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, upon any person who:

[K]nowingly makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by [federal firearms law] to be kept in the records of a person licensed under [federal firearms law] or in applying for any license or exemption or relief from disability under the provisions of [federal firearms law].

Punishment for such straw purchases are include a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison, and its not new law. The Freep editorial helpfully (not) fails to tell us the name of the bill Republicans were against, so i had to check the Senate Judiciary Committes' calendar for March 7 and its most likely S.54, the "S. 54: Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013"

The bill increases the potential punishment from 10 years to 20 and with up to 30 years if the transferee knew or had reasonable cause to know it would be used in a crime.

Considering, that in the words of Vice President Biden, "regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don't have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately." So, what will an additional 10-20 potential years do to deter such acts when the VP already admits the feds aren't enforcing the law already on the books with its 10 year penalty now?

The bill also does some changes including forfeiture and making such a violation a possible RICO or money-laundering offense and some other definitional changes that are hard to follow in the brief time I've had to review the bill.

In short, its a stupid, Democrat feel-good bill because the Democrat executive has already stated they have no intention of enforcing it. If they refuse to enforce the existing law with a 10 year penalty what good would the same law with an enhanced 20-30 year penalty do?

Funny how the Detroit Free Press fails to report that and instead claims Republicans are in the arms of greedy arms manufacturers for refusing to go along with this charade.

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