Although straw purchased or trafficked weapons were not used in the shootings in Orlando, Buffalo, Parkland, Uvalde, or Las Vegas, (among others), the Senate’s bipartisan gun control legislation includes harsher punishments for gun trafficking and straw purchases.
The penalty for gun trafficking and straw purchase is increased under sections 932 and 033.
According to the straw purchase part (932),
It shall be illegal for any person to intentionally or knowingly acquire, or conspire to acquire, a firearm in or affecting foreign commerce or interstate on behalf of, or at the request of, any person knowing that the other person is prohibited from purchasing it for themselves.
A long time before the Senate’s bipartisan agreement was made public, straw purchases had been prohibited.
Question one on the ATF Form 4473, the paper component of a gun purchase background check, implies that straw purchases are permitted.
Question number one, form 4473, asks:
“Are you the real buyer/transferee of the guns listed on this form and any continuation sheets (ATF Form 5300.9A)?” You are not the actual transferor/buyer if you are buying for someone else. If you are not the actual transferor/buyer, you will not be able to receive the weapon(s).”
The bill’s trafficking aspect (933) is nearly identical to the House version, which punishes individuals who sell guns to those who are prohibited from having them.
Every shooter but three in our database, which goes back to 1999, obtained his or her gun through a background check. The Clackamas Town Center shooter (December 11, 2012) and the Sandy Hook shooter (December 14, 2012) both stole their weapons, so no point-of-sale gun controls would have prevented them. In Midland, Texas (August 31, 2019), one person purchased his weapon from a private sale.
Aside from a few instances, mass shooters in the last 15 years acquired their weapons at retail by following regulations. Increased straw purchase restrictions or additional anti-trafficking laws would not have stopped these events.