Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Scott Rigell on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
Transcript of press briefing remarks by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 on Feb. 5, 2013:
You know, we’re here today as fellow members of Congress, we’re here today as Republicans and Democrats, but we’re first and foremost here today as fellow Americans. And we’re here to introduce and advance a much-needed piece of legislation: the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013.
You know, the Second Amendment serves as a high and impassable wall that protects on the one side every law-abiding American’s constitutional right to own firearms, and on the other side of that wall are those who do not have a constitutional right to firearms – namely, criminals.
Straw purchasers of firearms are those who lie when purchasing firearm saying it’s for their own use when in fact their true intent to get it to someone else.
Now this bill wisely tackles the deficiencies that exist right now in current federal law that make it difficult for our prosecutors and our law enforcement officials to deter and prosecute gun traffickers and straw purchasers.
It really reflects the sound counsel and advice of the good men and women behind us here – law enforcement and prosecutors – those who are really on the front lines, and it reflects common sense and deep common ground.
You know, we all surely recall the tragedy that occurred in New York that unfolded on Christmas Eve when two Webster, New York firefighters were killed and two more first responders were injured when a man called the first responders to his home – he actually lit a fire. And when the first responders got there, he shot them. Now, where did he get the gun? Well, he couldn’t legally purchase the gun because he was a convicted felon so he found a straw purchaser.
Look, we need to change the culture in America that says it’s really no big deal to buy a gun for someone else. That’s not a proper culture for our country.
And as a lifetime member of the NRA, as a firearm owner, and as a father and really as a grandfather, I’ve got a problem with people breaking the law using firearms because it inevitably puts pressure on my rights. And I think when we punish the bad guys, we’re protecting the good guys and that’s really the essence of this bill.
Our law enforcement officers say it’s really difficult to convict the bad guys because federal law on these two topics is disconnected. And in fact, 4 out of 10 straw purchasers really suffer no meaningful consequence to what they just did.
The legislation equips our law enforcement officers and prosecutors with what they don’t have now and what they’ve said that they need. They’re telling us they need a single section of federal code that gives them the authority and guidance to prosecute gun traffickers and straw purchasers.
Now, I’ve been asked to just cover a couple of the highlights of the bill. I’ll do so here. The bill prohibits the purchase of firearms if the intent is to deliver to someone else who’s prohibited by federal or state law from possessing one. It strengthens penalties – raising them up to 20 years imprisonment for straw purchasers. It increases the penalties for organizers or managers of firearms trafficking networks. And this is an essential step – it recommends to the sentencing commission that it increase penalties for multiple illegal gun purchases.
- Oversight.House.gov: Bipartisan bill to combat gun trafficking
- Oversight.House.gov: Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013 introduced on Feb. 5, 2013 (PDF)
- Oversight.House.gov: SPECIAL REPORT: “OUTGUNNED: Law Enforcement Agents Warn Congress They Lack Adequate Tools to Counter Illegal Firearms Trafficking”
- WhatTheFolly.com: House lawmakers introduce bill to toughen penalties against “straw purchasers”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association endorses the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Elijah Cummings on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Patrick Meehan on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Carolyn Maloney on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Scott Rigell on the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies on Operation Fast & Furious
- WhatTheFolly.com: Congressional report slams Justice Department & ATF for botched ‘gun walking’ operation
- WhatTheFolly.com: Justice Department issues stricter gun reporting rules to curb flow of U.S. weapons into Mexico