Written by Released by Rep. Marcy Toepel's Office
Realizing that straw purchasers significantly contribute to gun violence in communities across the Commonwealth, the governor today signed legislation authored by Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) that restores a crucial law enforcement tool to remove illegal guns and prosecute straw purchasers.
“Obtaining or receiving a firearm through a straw purchase has long been illegal in Pennsylvania; however, this new law will close a loophole in the current law that prevents the imposition of an enhanced penalty for second and subsequent offenses,” said Toepel. “It is long past time that we take concrete steps to fight back against these individuals who funnel weapons into the hands of criminals, without infringing on anyone’s right to own a firearm.”
Straw purchases occur when the actual buyers of firearms use other individuals, known as straw purchasers, to execute the paperwork necessary to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
House Bill 898 has been dubbed the “Brad Fox Law” because multiple straw purchases are the reason why a criminal possessed several guns, including the one that recently fatally shot Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox.
This law which goes into effect in 60 days, will restore a five-year minimum sentence for those convicted of making repeat straw purchases of firearms.
Toepel’s law received strong bipartisan support, including Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Montgomery County Police Chiefs’ Association.
For more legislative information, including video comments on this law, visit Toepel’s website atRepToepel.com or her legislative Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepToepel.