Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is working with Democrats to craft legislation to crack down on gun trafficking. Grassley says the measure was authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to make it a federal crime to buy firearms or ammunition with the intent of selling them to someone else.
“I’ve been working with Senator (Kirsten) Gillibrand of New York on her version of it which I think, probably, will be incorporated with the bill that Leahy put in,” Grassley says. “As of yesterday, everything was going smoothly.”
A package of at least four bills, designed to reduce gun violence, is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Grassley says barring any major changes in the language of the gun trafficking legislation, he’ll be on board.
“There was a staff briefing and meeting to work out some other changes sometime yesterday afternoon,” Grassley says. “I don’t have the report on that and the report on that will tell you whether or not I’m going to officially join as a co-sponsor.” The bill would also make it illegal to smuggle guns out of the U.S.
Grassley calls it “ironic” that the bill is being backed by the Obama administration. “Can you imagine?” Grassley says. “An administration that’s promoting legislation to ban these type of sales and to ban certain guns from being sold at all is the very same administration that promoted 2,000 guns being illegally sold by licensed gun dealers.”
Grassley is referring to Operation Fast and Furious, a botched federal investigation. Two of the guns from that case were used to murder a U.S. Border Patrol agent in December of 2010.