"Illegal trafficking of firearms to violent criminals, gangs, and drug trafficking organizations presents a grave threat to public safety. Investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have revealed that trafficked firearms are often diverted to criminals or criminal organizations and then used in serious and violent offenses. An estimated 467,321 firearm-related violent crimes occurred in the United States in 2011, a 26 percent increase since 2008. Investigations show that convicted felons are heavily involved in firearms trafficking and its tragic consequences. Individuals known as 'straw purchasers' play key roles in many firearms trafficking operations. Straw purchasers are typically individuals without a criminal record who buy firearms for drug dealers, violent criminals, or other prohibited persons, sometimes for payment in money or drugs. Straw purchasers are often friends, relatives, spouses, or partners of firearms traffickers. Straw purchasers usually acquire a relatively small number of firearms in each transaction, which helps to circumvent the background check requirements of Federal law. Firearms traffickers then sell and resell illegally obtained guns and transport them across state lines, contributing to the gun violence in our communities and along our borders."
S. Rpt. 113-9; Senate Report 113-9
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/