New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk will introduce anti-gun trafficking legislation next week in an attempt to stem the flow of illegal weapons across state lines. She made this announcement yesterday, Jan. 24, on Andrea Mitchell Reports.
According to Gillibrand, 85 percent of the guns in New York come from out of state, 90 percent of those are illegal. Gillibrand, a Democrat, is co- sponsoring the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act with Republican Senator Kirk.
Currently there is no Federal law prohibiting straw-purchasers, agents who purchase guns for a third party to avoid background checks. It is not a crime to purchase guns in one state, and then sell them out of the back of a truck in another, according to Gillibrand. The legislation will make this circumvention of background check requirements a crime.
“We’re giving law enforcement the tools they need to go after these criminals and criminal networks.” — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand sees the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act as a complement to the assault weapons ban legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein yesterday and universal background checks, supported by Senior New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Sen. Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor David Paterson in 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who was tapped for the Secretary of State position by President Obama. She was re-elected to a full term in 2012.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Gillibrand represented New York’s 21st district in the House. As a Congresswoman representing an upstate district that included parts of the Adirondack Park, an area with a strong hunting tradition, she was a strong advocate for gun-owners’ rights.
As a Senator, she has become an advocate for stricter gun laws. Her change on the issue of gun control came, she says, because she now must represent the entire state, including urban areas, where guns are often used for criminal purposes.