The assistant to the solicitor general, Joseph Palmore, admitted to the court that the ATF was “interpreting” the will of Congress when it added the “actual buyer” question in 1995 on the background form.
Mr. Palmore said the other “critical” purposes of the ATF’s agenda with determining the final buyer was “tracing of firearms and to prevent the anonymous stockpiling of firearms.” Uncle Sam is not supposed to be getting involved in a citizen’s decision to buy as many guns as he decides he wants to defend himself.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to side with the plaintiff’s position that the ATF had overstepped into trying to create criminal law. Referring to the Gun Control Act, the chief justice said, “This language is fought over tooth and nail by people on the gun-control side and the gun-ownership side.”
He called it “very problematic” for the government to cite going after law abiding people who resell firearms as a purpose of the law since “there are no words in the statute that have anything to do with straw purchasers.”
Mr. Obama and his gun-grabbing cohorts invented the vanilla-sounding “universal background check” to disguise their agenda to control every firearm transaction in the country.
Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told reporters last week that if Abramski is overturned, it would “open a vast loophole in the background check law.” That is pure fear-mongering to coerce people into willingly give up their rights.
There is no reason for the government to prevent, much less prosecute,a former member of law enforcement from buying a gun for his law-abiding uncle. The Supreme Court should overturn the appeals court, but more importantly, make clear that the government has no right to intervene in private gun transfers between honest American citizens.
The ultimate purpose of the Second Amendment, the prevention of tyranny, depends on the government not having a registry or knowing who is armed.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).