Toepel’s Legislation Designed to Thwart Illegal Firearms Purchases Passes House

Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) announced that her legislation, which would restore a five-year minimum sentence for those convicted  of making repeat straw purchases of firearms, passed in the House Tuesday by a vote of 186-10.


“I am elated that House Bill 898 passed with such overwhelming support,” Toepel said. “This legislation, which allows for the imposition of the maximum punishment for those who commit this act, should go a long way in making our streets safer for everyone. I want to thank members from both sides of the aisle for their support of this legislation.”


House Bill 898 was also lauded by Risa Vetri Ferman, district attorney for Montgomery County.


“House Bill 898 restores a significant law enforcement tool to remove illegal guns and prosecute straw purchasers,” said Ferman. “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court -- in a case of statutory interpretation -- recently struck an important public safety statute that provided a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for repeat straw purchasers. This decision removed a critical tool that helped law enforcement prosecute and put away straw purchasers who are responsible for putting illegal guns in the hands of felons and who wreak havoc in our communities. The decision has also stymied the ability of law enforcement to get straw purchasers to identify the violent criminals to whom they illegally sell or give guns.”


A straw purchase is defined as a purchase of an item by an individual or group for someone who is unable to purchase the item themselves.


More information can be found at Toepel’s website at or on her Facebook page at


House Bill 898 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Contact: Joe Pistorio

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