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U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush's Gun Control Bill Honors Hadiya Pendleton

By Wendell Hutson | March 5, 2013 5:58pm
 The program for Hadiya Pendleton's funeral service held on Feb. 9.
The program for Hadiya Pendleton's funeral service held on Feb. 9.
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DNAinfo/Justin Barbin

CHATHAM — U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) introduced new gun legislation Tuesday in honor of murdered teenager Hadiya Pendleton.

According to Rush, the "Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013" would limit straw purchases of firearms and help reduce illegal trafficking of firearms across state lines.

He said the bill targets “straw purchasers” who play "key roles in most firearms trafficking operations." Currently no criminal statute exists that deals with straw purchasing or firearms trafficking, he said.

“Equipping federal law enforcement officials with the legislative authority to halt illegal tracking of firearms is an appropriate and sensible action for Congress to take,” Rush said in a statement. “Selfish individuals who scam and work around existing checks and controls in the system put our communities at risk through their selfish greed and lack of forethought for others whom they place in harm’s way.”

Pendleton, a 15-year-old student at King College Preparatory High School, was gunned down Jan. 29 by an alleged gang member, according to Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. First lady Michelle Obama was among the dignitaries who attended her funeral.

Pryear-Yard, a 17-year-old senior at Nazareth Regional Catholic High School in New York, was allegedly gunned down in 2009 by a gang member.

Rush said this bill would make it a federal crime to purchase a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee for any other person. The law also prohibits purchasing guns from a private seller for someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, such as a convicted felon.

Offenders could receive up to 25 years in prison if they knew or had cause to believe that a weapon they bought for someone else would be used to commit a crime of violence.