Press Releases

Bacon Reintroduces STOP Straw Purchases Act

Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02) reintroduced H.R. 1604 the STOP Straw Purchases Act, to increase penalties resulting from purchasing a firearm for a prohibited person.

An illegal firearm purchase is a federal crime and applies to purchases for those who are knowingly prohibited by law from possessing a gun or do not want their name associated with the purchase.  

“Most of the gun-related crime is committed by someone who should not have access to a firearm, but they are able to get it because someone else makes the purchase," said Rep. Bacon. “This was the case with Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco, who was killed in the line of duty and the gun used was obtained through a straw purchase. The purchaser walked away with a slap on the wrist. By closing loopholes and increasing maximum punishments for violators, this legislation will help to deter criminals from illegally obtaining firearms and bring justice and safety to our affected communities.”

The STOP Straw Purchases Act would strengthen federal law and make it easier to prosecute criminal straw purchasers and gun traffickers. H.R. 1604 will increase the maximum punishment for the purchaser and the receiver—who transfers a firearm with reasonable cause to believe that it will be used in a drug crime or crime of violence—to include a fine up to $750,000, and a prison term for up to 25 years. Current law calls for a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years in prison.

In addition, a “Kingpin Clause” included in the legislation makes it unlawful for any person affecting interstate commerce to have straw purchaser(s) acquire firearms to enable a gun trafficking enterprise. This clause, which includes anyone trying to traffic weapons across state lines, will subject the organizer or “kingpin” of the operation to a fine of $1,000,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both.

“Local law enforcement leaders have repeatedly told us that the number one action we can take to reduce gun violence in Omaha is stopping straw purchases,” said Rep. Bacon.

Finally, under this bill, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives must ensure that the Firearms Transaction Record used to purchase firearms contains a clear outline of the penalties.