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The Boston Globe

Nation

Trafficking bill approved as gun control debate begins in earnest

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a proposal to make gun trafficking a federal crime during an abridged morning session Thursday, also beginning debate of a bill to ban assault weapons.

Legislation set forth by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the committee, aims to ban so-called “straw buyers” who purchase weapons for those who legally cannot. The measure passed 11-7, with Republicans contending that the proposal’s language is overly broad and its penalties too stiff.

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