For Immediate Release
At a ceremony January 11, 2013, in Plymouth Meeting, Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) joined Governor Tom Corbett, legislators, law enforcement officers and family members in signing the Brad Fox Law. The new law will ensure that offenders who illegally buy multiple guns for criminals will face at least five years in prison.
The law is named for Bradley Fox, a police officer in Plymouth Township who was fatally shot by a man using a gun illegally purchased for him. Under new law, anyone who is convicted of multiple “straw purchases” of firearms in one case will be treated as a repeat offender and face a mandatory five- to 10-year prison sentence.
Straw purchases are when a person legitimately buys a gun then resells or otherwise transfers it to an individual who is not legally allowed to own a firearm.
“This is a very emotional day for Officer Fox’s friends, family, and fellow officers, who feel his loss every day,” Rafferty said. “This law will help to reduce gun violence, hold gun offenders accountable and keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. Illegal gun sales lead to violence and death, and we have to stop them.”
Rafferty, who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, worked closely with Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) and Chairman Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) to move House Bill 898 through the Senate and to the governor’s desk.
“We lost a hero in Officer Brad Fox because a criminal who had forfeited his right to purchase and own a gun was given a gun by a straw purchaser,” Rafferty said. “This legislation will protect our law enforcement officers and all citizens by ensuring that those who buy and sell guns illegally will be held accountable.”