Lawmakers to unveil gun trafficking bill

The proposal, which has some bipartisan support, would punish people who knowingly buy guns for criminals.

By Kim Peterson Feb 4, 2013 5:32PM
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Caption: A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store. December, 2012Washington's renewed focus on gun control is starting to turn into real proposals.

Two Republican and two Democratic lawmakers are planning to unveil a bill Tuesday to make gun trafficking a federal crime, The Washington Post reports. The bill is coming out of the House of Representatives, and is similar to one in the Senate.

The bill would punish people who knowingly buy guns for convicted felons and others who aren't allowed to buy weapons on their own. Right now, gun sellers get "little more than a legal slap on the wrist" for buying and reselling guns to this group, writes the Post's Greg Sargent.

The proposals in the House and Senate seek to close this loophole for "straw purchasers." But will they get enough Republican support to pass?

Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate are moving forward with a broader bill that would likely clamp down on high-capacity magazines. It would also require background checks at gun trade shows and in other private transactions, The Wall Street Journal reports. One thing the bill will not do is ban military-style, semiautomatic weapons.

That bill would undoubtedly bring strong opposition from the National Rifle Association, which is not in favor of background checks for all gun purchases.

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