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Senate panel agrees to new legislation on guns

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By Tom Cohen, CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A bill that would toughen laws on gun trafficking and straw purchases of firearms got the OK from the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to be sent on to the full chamber for consideration.

The measure would make it harder for Mexican drug cartels to get their hands on guns sold in the United States and would punish those buying firearms or ammunition for criminals, said panel chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

It would also stem the flow of guns purchased legally in one state from getting into the hands of people in other states where they are not legally allowed to own them, said Leahy, one of the bill’s authors.

The committee also is considering other measures, including a proposal to ban semi-automatic guns that mimic military assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.

CNN’s Todd Sperry and Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.