By: Sharon Aron Baron
A bill creating a federal requirement that gun owners report their lost or stolen gun within 48 hours has been introduced by U.S Representatives Sean Casten (IL-06), Robin Kelly (IL-02), and Ted Deutch (FL-22) on Wednesday.
This new Act would help law enforcement identify and prosecute traffickers who often claim their gun was lost or stolen when it turns up at a crime scene across state lines.
The bill also makes traffickers liable for any damage done by their guns and makes repeat violators ineligible to buy guns for five years.
Efforts by states like Illinois to prevent gun violence are often undermined by the looser laws in neighboring states like Indiana. In 2019, Chicago seized over 10,000 illegally possessed guns; annually, guns illegally trafficked across state lines comprise about 60 percent of this total. The Gun Trafficker Detection Act would stem this onslaught.
“There must be accountability for gun owners whose lost or missing guns are trafficked and repeatedly used in crimes,” said Rep. Deutch “This bill is about cracking down on the dangerous and illegal streams of firearms in our communities that contribute to the gun violence crisis.
The Gun Trafficker Detection Act is endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Newtown Action, March for Our Lives, Giffords, and the Brady Campaign.
This week marks two years since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 14 students and three staff members and one year the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois that left six people dead.
Deutch, who represents Coral Springs and Parkland, said requiring responsible owners to act responsibly is an essential step in curbing the complex problem of gun violence in this country.”