By Edward Donga | For the Rutland Herald and Times Argus
WASHINGTON — Breaking down largely along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-7 Thursday to approve a bill, sponsored by Chairman Patrick Leahy, that would outlaw the so-called straw purchase of firearms.
The committee’s action paves the way for the legislation to come before the full Senate for debate.
A straw purchase involves someone buying a firearm for another individual — such as a convicted felon — who would otherwise be unable to purchase it because he or she cannot pass the required background check.
“The practice of straw purchasing firearms is undertaken for one reason: to get a gun into the hands of someone who is prohibited from having one,” said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. “We know that many of the guns used in criminal activities are acquired through straw purchases.”