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Posted


The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal law does not allow someone to buy a gun for someone else even if both are legally eligible to own firearms.
 
The 5-4 ruling on so-called straw purchasing came down in the case of Bruce James Abramski, Jr., who bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville, Va., in 2009 and later transferred it to his uncle in Easton, Pa. 
 
Federal officials brought charges against Abramski because he assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the weapon, even though he had already agreed to buy the gun for his uncle.
 
The high court ruled that the federal background check law does apply to Abramski, rejecting Abramski's argument that since both he and his uncle were legally allowed to own guns, the law shouldn't have applied to him.
 
"We hold that such a misrepresentation is punishable under the statute, whether or not the true buyer could have purchased the gun without the straw," the court ruled. 
 
Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said the federal government's elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun and fill out the paperwork.
 

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Posted

I thought this kind of thing was already illegal actually.  Every background check I've ever had when buying a gun had the question on the form, "Are you the actual purchaser of the firearm."  That way if you buy it for somebody else and get caught, not only do you get nailed for buying for somebody else, you get nailed for lying on a sworn statement to the federal government.

 

It makes sense though, you don't want people buying guns on behalf of other people who can't buy them.  At the same time though, we've all bought guns as gifts for other people before, and this would make that a little bit difficult.  I think they should specify that being a straw buyer should only be illegal if, "The purchaser has reason to believe that the person for whom the firearm is intended would not be eligible to purchase the firearm themselves."  I think one thing we should have though is a record keeping law.  If the police come knocking on your door because a gun you sold was used in a crime, you should be able to provide them with all important information about the buyer including name, physical address, date of sale, make/model/caliber/serial of the firearm, etc.  There are even optional forms on the ATF website you can download for that very purpose.

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Posted

It was illegal, it just hadn't been before the Supreme Court before.

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Posted

Correct. Surprised it took this long, and good decision.

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Posted

Topics moved

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