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More Guns In Crime Cases Were Bought In 'Straw Purchases'

Despite laws and federal investigators, evidence suggests that straw purchases of weapons -- buying a firearm for someone who is legally prohibited from obtaining one--are becoming more problematic, reports the Associated Press. Weapons bought via straw purchases sometimes end up in the hands of felons or minors. A federal report in February 2023 showed that 54% of guns that police recovered at crime scenes in 2021 had been purchased within three years, a double-digit increase since 2019.

The 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022 made it a federal crime to traffic in firearms. It also included prison terms of up to 25 years if the weapon is used in an act of terrorism or in drug trafficking. The Department of Justice says it has charged more than 60 people for violations since the law was passed and seized hundreds of firearms in connection with those cases. Straw purchases were at the center of two cases announced this week. Three men in Kansas City were charged with federal counts related to the illegal purchase of high-powered rifles that were connected to the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade and rally. Authorities in Minnesota announced charges Thursday against a woman accused of buying guns used in the killings of three first responders last month at a home in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville.


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