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Bipartisan US House group pushes gun trafficking proposal

Published on Feb 6, 2013 5:44 AM
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, with the support of a law enforcement agencies, announce the introduction of a bill in the House of Representatives to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for "straw purchasers" who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. -- PHOTO : AP 

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Two Republicans and two Democrats took a first bipartisan step toward new gun restrictions on Tuesday by introducing a bill in the United States (US) House of Representatives to crack down on gun trafficking to criminals.

The bill, strongly backed by law enforcement groups, would strengthen penalties on "straw purchasers," who buy guns for those who are barred by law from buying their own weapons.

The sponsors said the measure would help stop the flow of guns to criminals without infringing on the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners.

"For too long, we have been handcuffing the wrong people. We have made it too hard for law enforcement to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and too easy for criminals to get their hands on guns," said US Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat and one of the four co-sponsors.

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