By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Corbett is expected to sign a bill on the way to his desk that will create tougher penalties for people who illegally buy guns for criminals.
Under current law, a defendant convicted of multiple “straw purchases” of guns in a single proceeding cannot be sentenced as a repeat offender.
The bill given final legislative approval by the state Senate Wednesday would see a defendant convicted of multiple straw purchases at a single trial sentenced as a first time offender for the first offense but then as a repeat offender for additional counts.
“I hope everyone in this building realizes how much of a historic day this really is,” Philadelphia Senate Democrat Lawrence Farnese said.
But fellow Philadelphia Democrat Anthony Williams says it’s only a first step.
“My hope is this will not just start a conversation, but will correct a policy.”
The bill expected to become law would mean a mandatory five-year sentence for defendants convicted of multiple straw purchases.