Gun Debate: Two Democrats Join Two Republicans on Gun Bill

Gun Debate: Two Democrats Join Two Republicans on Gun Bill

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Today, Democrats Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) joined with Republicans Scott Rigell (R-VA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) on legislation entitled The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 452).

The legislation is the first bipartisan gun legislation offered in the House after the Sandy Hook massacre.  Cummings, Rigell, Maloney and Meehan could not say when the legislation might be scheduled for a debate on the floor or in a committee.

“Law enforcement is concerned that folks now can go out there and purchase a gun for someone else who is already prohibited from having a gun. Those guns then end up in the wrong hands,” Cummings said

Rigell, a Republican, was asked if he had run the legislation by his leadership, which controls the House.  He said he had not but had received a generally good reaction from colleagues.

Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who from his leadership pearch controls floor action, made an attempt to soften the image of Republicans today, with a policy address that touched on social. But he did not mention gun control.

The legislation strengthens penalties for “straw purchases.”  That is, it endorses 20 years of imprisonment for those who intentionally buy a firearm for another person who is prohibited from buying one, such as a convicted felon.

The bill also prohibits firearms trafficking to an individual who is prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing a firearm.  It also enhance penalties for “kingpins” and multiple illegal purchases.

Members of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, the Petersburg, VA Police Department abd the Baltimore Police Department stood behind the bipartisan group during a packed press conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on the new legislation.

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LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on Black members of Congress.  She can be heard every Tuesday on the radio on The Earl Ingram Show at 4 p.m. EST. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment with USAToday.com and ABC News and holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Contact: LBurke007@gmail.com.  Twitter: @Crewof42.

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