(Harrisburg) -- A bill designed to crack down on people who buy guns and pass them on to criminals is one step closer to becoming law.
So-called "straw purchasers" would face at least five years in prison under the measure that's received unanimous state Senate approval.
Current sentencing guidelines have no a minimum prison sentence for such offenders.
Philadelphia Democratic State Representative Larry Farnese calls it a critically important piece of legislation.
"It will help make people's lives safer across the commonwealth, not just law enforcement, but the men and women that we are sent to represent and we are sent to protect," Farnese says.
The bill was fast-tracked after a Montgomery County police officer was shot and killed in September by a man using a gun illegally purchased for him.
Police say the gunman was on probation and barred from buying a firearm.
The measure's on its way to Governor Corbett's desk; his office says he is likely to sign it.
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