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State Legislature Passes 'Brad Fox Law'

The law does not implement new restrictions on firearm sales or purchases.

State Legislature Passes 'Brad Fox Law'

A Brad Fox Law is headed for Gov. Tom Corbett's desk, though it's perhaps not the one some gun control advocates might hope for.

House Bill 898, which imposes a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for the second and subsequent violations of the provisions of state law governing the sale of firearms, was unanimously passed by the state Senate on Wednesday.

The law also permanently revokes any license to sell, import, or manufacture firearms from such violators.

The bill, now known as the "Brad Fox Law," was passed by the state House in April 2011. State Representative Marcy Toepel (R-147), who introduced the bill, said it had taken on "new significance" in the wake of Fox's murder last month. Fox's apparent killer, Andrew Thomas, who was not permitted to own firearms, allegedly purchased the murder weapon from Michael Henry, who is accused of selling nine weapons to Thomas after meeting him earlier this year.

"Straw purchasers significantly contribute to gun violence in Pennsylvania’s towns and cities," said Toepel in a statement released by the PA House Republican Caucus. "I am pleased my colleagues agree that this legislation is needed to better protect residents of our communities across the state."

The law does not implement any new restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms.

State Rep. Mike Vereb (R-150) told The Times Herald that legislators are planning to have Gov. Corbett come to Plymouth Township for a signing ceremony.

The law would take effect 60 days after Corbett signs it.

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