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White House: 'Straw purchasers' of guns shouldn't get away with 'a slap on the wrist'

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein,Politics Digest

President Obama’s new gun control recommendations released Wednesday include a call for more serious punishments against “straw-purchasers” who buy guns on behalf of criminals who would otherwise not be able to pass background checks.

“We cannot allow those who help put guns into the hands of criminals to get away with just a slap on the wrist,” the report declared.

If only his own Department of Justice had followed that policy.

During Obama’s presidency and under the leadership of his  Attorney General Eric Holder, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives knowingly allowed “straw purchasers” to pass thousands of guns into the hands of criminals. In what would become known as the “Fast and Furious” scandal, these guns flowed into Mexico, where they turned up at hundreds of crime scenes. Two of the guns were found at the murder scene of a U.S. border agent.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from page six of Obama’s gun recommendations:

Create serious punishments for gun trafficking: Today, criminals can easily buy guns from unlicensed dealers, or acquire them with the help of so-called “straw purchasers” who pass the required background check to buy guns from licensed dealers. But there is no explicit law against straw purchasing, so straw purchasers and others who traffic guns can often only be prosecuted for paperwork violations. We cannot allow those who help put guns into the hands of criminals to get away with just a slap on the wrist. Congress should close these loopholes with new gun trafficking laws that impose serious penalties for these crimes.

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Author:

Philip Klein

Commentary Editor
The Washington Examiner