Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Federal firearms officials and a firearms trade association launched a campaign in San Diego on Wednesday to remind people that buying a gun for someone else is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
The campaign to raise awareness about so called "straw purchases" of firearms began nine years ago.
Officials with the gun trade group leading the campaign say they began promoting it again recently in U.S. Mexico border states to help crackdown on gun smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico.
Karl Anglin, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, says he'd like to see people change their attitudes towards straw purchases.
"A lot of people don't think it is a big deal. But I ask you, how would you feel if you purchased a weapon for somebody and they went out and they used that gun in the commission of a violent attack on somebody and your name was on that weapon?"
Federal firearms officials say the majority of the guns found at Tijuana drug cartel murder scenes recently were bought by someone in the US on the cartels' behalf.
A gun industry spokesman could not say if the campaign has lead to more prosecutions of straw purchasers.