Gillibrand finds a Republican to go with her anti-gun-trafficking bill
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced on MSNBC today that she will be introducing an anti-gun-trafficking bill with the support of Illinois Republican Mark Kirk.
"Senator Mark Kirk and I sat down yesterday, talked about our bill, and we decided we're going to introduce this bipartisan bill next week," she said. "And I think it's something that can really make a difference because we have to stop the flow of illegal guns going straight to the hands of the criminals."
Currently, there aren't any federal laws prohibiting straw purchasers from legally buying weapons in states with loose gun laws and then selling them privately to individuals in states with stiffer gun laws.
It's one of the first bills that Gillibrand began to work on when she became a senator, after earning an 'A' rating from National Rifle Association during her tenure in the House. When she first unveiled the bill in November of 2009, she was flanked by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had previously expressed reservations about Gillibrand's elevation to the Senate, based in part on her prior aversion to gun control.
Gillibrand's office pushed aggressively, and successfully, in recent weeks to make sure the anti-trafficking measure was included in the recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden.
Gillibrand said it would be a "complement" to the bill offered by her colleague, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to expand the required background checks for firearm sales.
"I think the two bills—having the anti-trafficking and closing the background check loopholes—is going to make a huge difference because once everyone has to get a background check, you want to make sure then it just doesn't start to have an underground market," she said. "You don't want to increase the amount of trafficking. If you do those both together, will you really reduce the flow of illegal weapons to the criminals."
Kirk, who was elected to Barack Obama's old Senate seat in 2010, has received support in the past from in the past from Michael Bloomberg, for his work against the Tiahrt Amendment.