These measures include making background checks universal for all gun buyers, creating a national database to track the movement and sale of firearms, expanding mental health checks, and increasing penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving guns to minors.Even this sensible list could be enlarged and improved. Notably missing is a concerted crackdown on illegal gun trafficking. The task force’s final recommendations, which are due to be released by the end of the month, should include a measure to stem the illegal gun trade and make it easier for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers and the straw buyers and rogue dealers who enable them.A strong starting point is a measure first proposed four years ago by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, which she is about to reintroduce in the new Congress.The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act would create, for the first time, a separate criminal offense for gun trafficking. It would also toughen penalties at every point in the trafficking chain — from straw buyers who purchase a gun for someone else to evade required record-keeping and background checks, to corrupt gun dealers who supply illegal weapons to the kingpins running the trafficking rings.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
News-Leader editorial- Strengthen gun laws
An editorial in today's edition of the Springfield News-Leader says it is time to strengthen gun laws in the United States: