The new head of the St. Paul branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the agency will focus less on white collar crime in order to crack down on violent crime.
Special agent in charge Scott Sweetow said the ATF will allocate more resources on a program called Frontline to go after violent gun offenders and firearms traffickers. Without commenting on current gun legislation, Sweetow said laws that crack down on people who buy guns for those who can't legally possess them are a big help.
"From a strictly factual standpoint, it is absolutely effective," Sweetow said. "Just as the drug cartels need drug dealers in order to ply their trade, firearms traffickers and criminals need straw purchasers to aid in their scheme."
State lawmakers are considering proposals that will increase penalties for straw purchasers.