-Letters to the Editor are typed word for word, comma for comma, as sent to this newspaper. - All submitted letters must be 600 words or less-
Several weeks ago the Supreme Court sided with the Obama administration, ruling that the federal ban on “straw” purchases of firearms can be enforced, even if the receiver is legally allowed to own a Firearm.
The justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a Virginia man who bought a firearm with the intention of transferring it to an uncle living in Pennsylvania who by the way was not prohibited from owning firearms. Saving his uncle over a hundred dollars was the reason for this purchase. The case began after Bruce Abramski, Jr. bought a Glock handgun in Virginia, in 2009 then transferred it to his uncle in Pennsylvania.
Justice Kagan not knowing firearms laws said “the federal government’s system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing firearms to their buyers”. “She said, a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the firearm and fill out the paperwork. She was joined by Justice Kennedy, who at times is the court’s swing vote, and super liberal Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor.
In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said, the language of the law does not support making it a crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner. He was joined by the court’s other conservatives – Chief Justice Roberts, Thomas, and Alito.
The following is what really happened. Abramski purchased the firearm three days after his uncle wrote him a check for $400 with “Glock 19 handgun” written on the memo line. During the transaction, he answered “yes” on a federal 4473 form asking, “Are you the actual buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Police later arrested Abramski after they thought he was involved in a bank robbery in Rocky Mount, Virginia. No charges were ever filed on the bank robbery, but a sleaze-ball District Attorney charged him with making false statements about the purchase of the firearm.
A federal district judge rejected Abramski’s argument that he was not a straw purchaser because his uncle was eligible to buy firearms and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yep. The Obama administration had argued that accepting Abramski’s defense would impair the ability of law enforcement officials to trace firearms involved in crimes and keep weapons away from people who are not eligible to buy them. “Certainly they jest”. The administration said that even if the purchase is made on behalf of someone eligible to buy a firearm, the purpose of the law is frustrated since Congress requires the gun dealers – not purchasers – to run federal background checks on people buying firearms.
Abramski claimed Congress’ goal was to prevent guns from falling into the hands of convicted felons and others barred from owning firearms. He said that goal is not furthered if the firearm is transferred to someone legally allowed to own a firearm. The National Rifle Association sided with Abramski, as well as Twenty-six states that submitted a brief supporting Abramski’s view of the law, including Florida while only nine states and of course Washington, D.C., filed papers bolstering the Obama administration.
Mostly, the reason we purchase a firearm is to defend ourselves, our loved ones, hunting, and against criminals. One must wonder why the Obama’s administration would go to such lengths to argue this point. Most States do not register Firearms, including Florida. I believe it has to do with wanting no firearms for anyone, other than a select few government officials. In order to reach this goal, they would need a central database of all firearms and their owners, My thoughts are, Instead of expending all that energy fighting legal gun owners, perhaps they should use it to collect Firearms from criminals?
Working a Gun Show in Orlando two weeks ago, I spoke with the ATF agent working that show asking her if I had dropped the ball several years ago. A brand new Orlando Police Officer had been told to “get a back up firearm” after graduating from the academy. The Officer spotted a firearm he thought would fit his needs on my table. Like most all men do, he proceeded to fondle that little firearm and said “I’ll take it” we had but one small problem, the Officer was but 19 years old, one must be 21 years old in order to purchase a handgun. The Officer said “not a problem”, Mom has a Concealed Carry License. Mom filled out the paperwork, was approved by FDLE the Officer paid me and Mom handed her son, the brand spanking new Police Officer his firearm. Today my friends, this is now considered, a Straw Purchase.
Worried of parents purchasing a firearm for a son or daughter, My next question was “can one purchase a firearm and give it as a gift?” I was told “yes”. Therefore, am I to assume that had Abramski purchased the firearm, then, given the firearm to his uncle, everything would have been OK? I received a “don’t know” answer. I’ve asked for clarification on this issue from Federal Law Enforcement, shucks, I may as well ask for an impossibility, truth in government.
The way it really works: A firearm is found, the Police call the ATF, the ATF calls the Manufacturer, the Manufacturer gives them the Distributor that received the firearm, the Distributor gives them the Dealer that received the firearm, the dealer then tells the ATF the person that purchased the firearm. What ever happened to “Shall Not Be Infringed?