By Nicole Brewer, Brad Segall
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) – With the family of fallen Plymouth Township Officer Brad Fox by his side, Governor Tom Corbett ceremonially signed the Straw Purchase Gun Bill, otherwise known as the Brad Fox Law.
“It’s so sad that we have to be here after losing Officer Fox, but if something can come out of tragedy, at least this law is a very good step,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who supported the legislation.
Officer Fox, who was shot and killed during a hit and run investigation, died at the hands of a convicted felon, who had purchased his gun from a straw buyer; a man who under this law could be sentenced to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence if he was a repeat offender.
Governor Tom Corbett spoke about the importance of this law in Pennsylvania.
“If you are an illegal straw buyer, you should know… you’re at risk too,” said Corbett. “They are as deadly a threat to the citizens and to law enforcement, to the people and the first responders, as if they were the actual felon who shot that weapon.”
The bill had been languishing in the state legislature but it wasn’t until Officer Fox’s high profile murder last September that lawmakers took a closer look at the people who legally buy weapons in Pennsylvania but then pass those guns on to people who can’t legally buy them.
While obtaining or receiving a firearm through a straw purchase has long been illegal in Pennsylvania, this law closes a loop hole that prevented the penalties for subsequent offenses.
For Lynsay Fox, the widow and expectant mother of Brad, Junior, this law means even more.
“We are very honored that we could move forward with this and have the support of everybody in the community as well as the dignitaries that made it happen. I look forward to being able to share this with my kids, even though he’s not here, still making a difference,” said Lynsay.