Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Times

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, joined a bipartisan legislative contingent introducing a bill that would make gun trafficking a federal felony and would increase the penalties for straw purchasers.

“What it does is punish those who should not have the guns in their hands, but protects the Second Amendment rights of those who own guns legally and use them appropriately,” Meehan said. “Oftentimes, we had little leverage against somebody who did purchase a gun for somebody and transfer (it) illegally.”

The bill, dubbed the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013, was introduced by Meehan and fellow U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Scott Rigell, R-Va., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md. U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have introduced similar legislation in their chamber…

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