State Senate strengthens restrictions on ‘straw’ gun purchases

February 22, 2018 GMT

The state Senate has voted to tighten restrictions on so-called “straw” gun purchases, which include when a person buys a firearm to provide it to someone legally prohibited from possessing it.

The Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill, which strengthens existing state and federal restrictions on the practice. It now heads to the state Assembly.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said she offered the bill at the urging of Milwaukee city officials. They want to clamp down on straw purchases in their city that help criminals gain access to guns and give prosecutors better tools to prosecute such crimes, Darling said.

“It is already illegal to be a straw purchaser, however, this bill better defines the crime,” Darling spokesman Bob Delaporte said in a statement.

State law already prohibits a person from knowingly providing a firearm to someone prohibited from possessing one. Federal law also makes it a crime if a straw buyer completes a form documenting gun purchases by falsely claiming to be the actual buyer.