- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
MILLER: Supreme Court to decide if buying a gun for a lawful person is a ‘straw purchase’
Question of the Day
The Supreme Court decided Tuesday to hear the case of a Virginia man who bought a gun for his uncle and was then convicted of committing a “straw purchase.” The high court will determine whether it is a crime to buy a gun with the intent to resell to another lawful person.
Arguments for Abramski v. United States will take place in January. Bruce Abramski, a retired police officer, bought a handgun for his elderly uncle because he could get it at discount as former law enforcement. Mr. Abramski checked the box on the federal background check form that said he was the “actual buyer.”
Under federal law, handgun sales across state lines have to go through a federal firearms licensee. So, after buying the firearm in Virginia, Mr. Abramski drove to gun store in his uncle’s hometown in Pennsylvania. His uncle filled out the federal background check forms, paid fees and the transfer was approved.
However, ATF pursued the case against Mr. Abramski for saying he was the “actual buyer” in the original sale.
The federal law on “straw purchases” is intended to stop a criminal from having someone who is not a felon, drug user or other miscreant that would get blocked on an FBI background check to buy a gun for him. The buyer, or “straw man,” could then be charged with perjury for lying about the identity of the of the actual purchaser.
The issue in the Abramski case is whether this should apply when a lawful person buys a gun for someone who is legally allowed to own a firearm.
The case could affect future rulings on so-called universal background checks, which requires government approval for private exchanges of firearms. President Obama has pushed to make this a federal law, but he was unable to get enough votes in the Senate to pass it this year. Several states like Colorado and New York are being sued for this same requirement.
Second Amendment groups warn that “universal background checks” are really intended to create a national gun registry so the government knows who owns every gun in the U.S.
The high court has not taken up a major Second Amendment case since McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 which overturned Chicago’s gun ban and established the individual right to keep arms in the states.
It ought to rule in the Abramski case that it is fully lawful to buy a gun for another legal individual.
Ostensibly, gun-control laws are intended to make us safer. There is no reason to waste law enforcement resources to go after law-abiding people exchanging firearms.
Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Michelle Obama has media blackout in China while touting freedom of press
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Get Breaking Alerts
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'