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Mon Jun 16, 2014, 10:48 AM

 

Supreme Court deals rare blow to gun purchases

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court dealt a rare blow to the gun lobby Monday by ruling that purchasers must report when they are buying firearms for other people.

The decision upheld two lower courts that had ruled against so-called "straw purchasers," even though the justices acknowledged that Congress left loopholes in gun control laws passed in the 1960s and 1990s.

For gun purchasers to be allowed to buy from licensed dealers without reporting the actual final owners of the firearms, the justices said, would make little sense.

The 5-4 ruling was wriitten by Justice Elena Kagan. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent for the court's conservatives.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2014/06/16/supreme-court-deals-rare-blow-to-gun-purchase/10574215/

25 replies, 2430 views

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Supreme Court deals rare blow to gun purchases (Original post)
SecularMotion Jun 2014 OP
randys1 Jun 2014 #1
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jun 2014 #2
randys1 Jun 2014 #3
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #4
Starboard Tack Jun 2014 #5
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #7
Starboard Tack Jun 2014 #8
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #9
Starboard Tack Jun 2014 #11
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #12
Starboard Tack Jun 2014 #13
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #14
Starboard Tack Jun 2014 #18
blueridge3210 Jun 2014 #19
Jenoch Jun 2014 #10
Jenoch Jun 2014 #6
HALO141 Jun 2014 #15
Jenoch Jun 2014 #23
gejohnston Jun 2014 #24
Jenoch Jun 2014 #25
ManiacJoe Jun 2014 #16
Packerowner740 Jun 2014 #17
HockeyMom Jun 2014 #20
gejohnston Jun 2014 #21
DonP Jun 2014 #22

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 10:53 AM

1. So Kennedy did the right thing for once, and Scalia and the other criminals on court

once again ignored the constitution and what is best for the american people and did what their corp owners told them to do

Until we get these criminals out of our justice system we are just playing around the corners

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:01 AM

2. Good for Kennedy.

Not at all surprised by Scalia, Alito, Roberts and Thomas.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:04 AM

3. I am assuming that is the breakdown, the article didnt say and I didnt pursue

beyond that yet

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:13 AM

4. Not sure how you effectively enforce this.

 

I buy a .22 rifle for my child and say I am the owner. I then give/transfer it as a present some days later. Who is to know? Does the OP have any thoughts on the matter?

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 01:35 PM

5. Nobody will know unless there is an incident.

That's the whole point of most laws. Also, if it is in your name or your kid's name, as long as you are his legal guardian, you should be held responsible for his actions regarding the gun.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 06:02 PM

7. Didn't really answer the question

 

and what my kid does or doesn't do with the firearm is not the issue. According to the law all I have to do is buy the firearm and when questioned say that I am the purchaser. Once I get home, if I decide to give/transfer the firearm to another non-prohibited person the law does not apply. Looks like the purchaser messed up by filling out the form as if was the "purchaser" then made a statement of some sort to say his uncle was the actual purchaser. The court had little option but to rule the way it did or invalidate the law regarding straw purchases. As a former LEO one would think he would get better legal advice.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 06:50 PM

8. The way I see it, no firearms laws are really enforceable, if someone wants to circumnavigate them.

Restrictive laws about what is done in private don't usually work. How people conduct themselves in the public arena is a whole other ballgame.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 07:02 PM

9. Strange, a bunch of people

 

are in prison for violating those "unenforceable" laws. Another bunch of people are also in prison for what they do "in private" (drugs). Clearly, if one breaks the law in a public arena it is much easier to be detected and, therefore, prosecuted.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 09:08 PM

11. There's a difference between enforceable and getting caught.

Jails and prisons are always full of low hanging fruit.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 09:20 PM

12. That makes no sense at all.

 

Maybe you meant to say that in spite of prosecution the population in general has decided to continue to carry out a certain behavior. That doesn't mean the law is not enforceable; just that is has no visible deterrent effect. Like speed limits; many are stopped, cited and fined yet people continue to violate the posted speed limit.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 09:38 PM

13. Speeding is enforceable. It happens in public.

Restrictive laws regarding personal behavior conducted in private is extremely difficult to enforce. Remember we were talking about the illegal transfer of a firearm. About as enforceable as passing a joint, unless it happens in the open.
Education is far more effective than legislation when it comes to behavioral modification.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 09:45 PM

14. If people are arrested, prosecuted

 

convicted and fined/imprisoned then the law is enforced. It may make no dent in the overall behavior but the law is being enforced.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:39 PM

18. Sure, on a very minimal level

Keeps those paychecks coming in for LE and the corporate prison system.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 07:10 AM

19. Nice tangent.

 

You start with "gun laws are generally unenforceable" and wind up with a rant about "the corporate prison system". If you want to critique the 800 gorilla in the room look at privatized misdemeanor probation. A citation for driving with no headlights could cost someone about $2000. That's just crazy.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 07:19 PM

10. As I recall, the purchaser bought the gun in Virginia

 

and then traveled to Pennsylvania to transfer it to his uncle at a gun store to do a background check on the uncle. His uncle was not comfortable in choosing/buying a gun so he asked his nephew, a former LEO to buy one for him. The purchaser was trying to do the right thing, but apparently did not know the laws about interstate transfers. I really do not see a problem with what he did. Had he not gone to the gunshop and just gave it to his uncle, that would have been highly illegal.

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Response to blueridge3210 (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 04:31 PM

6. The man being prosecuted in this case for a straw purchase

 

of a gun for his uncle was 'caught' because he went to an FFL holder to transfer the gun to his uncle. If the guy would have called it a gift, he would not have been cited.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:14 PM

15. The author gets it wrong.

Nothing has changed.

Question 11a on Form 4473 is, "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?" In the case in question, the firearm was purchased by one individual on behalf of another for the simple reason of taking advantage of the police discount from a particular retailer. The third party was not a prohibited person. While this transaction may have violated the letter of the law it did not breach the intent of said law which is, obviously, to prevent prohibited individuals from using a straw buyer to obtain firearms. If the buyer named on the 4473 had purchased the gun and simply gifted it to his uncle, there would have been no violation. And if, a few weeks later, the uncle had given his nephew the 400 bucks (or whatever) that's also just fine. (You'd have to prove it isn't and that's all but an impossible task.)

Some state laws may vary but so far as Federal law is concerned, I can still give (or sell) whatever I want to whomever I want so long as the recipient is not prohibited from owning firearms. If I agree to purchase a firearm on behalf of another person, however, that is where I run afoul of the law. Commentators on both sides of this issue are getting it wrong and presuming that the decision is far more broad than it really is.

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Response to HALO141 (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 12:12 PM

23. I believe the buyer and the uncle lived in different states.

 

Wouldn't that be a violation of the law?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 12:56 PM

24. It would be but

they did a transfer through an FFL in the uncle's state.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 02:42 PM

25. I still don't think he did anything wrong.

 

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:26 PM

16. I am not seeing how this is a "rare blow to gun purchases".

This is really a poorly executed case that may have violated the technical wording of the law but did not violate the spirit of the law. They tried to do the right thing and got caught in the bad wording of the law.

Nothing has changed here. The purchaser still has to answer the relevant question on the form under penalty of perjury.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:30 PM

17. A foolish dissent by Scalia.

Is that what you meant to say?

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 09:41 AM

20. Wouldn't this be considered a straw purchase too?

Husband takes wife to a gun show because he wants her to pick out a gun for herself. She then goes around "trying out" and decides on one. Husband has a CCW, fills out paperwork saying he is the owner, and pays for the gun. He says that he is using his information because he has a CCW and it will be processed faster than if his wife's name is used.

I said this was a straw purchase because there was an ulterior motive in using the CCW's name. Speeding up the background check process. Personally, I think if a gun is being given as gift to a family member that family member should also have to pass a background check in order to be gifted a gun.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 10:15 AM

21. No, it is a gift under the Gun Control Act

IIRC, there is a gift and raffle exemption. One of the points of the gift exemption is so that parent can purchase for their minor child. If you gave him the money before hand, then it would be a straw purchase.
The ATF allows most states, if state's record keeping is to ATF standards, waive the background check if there is a CCW. The ATF allows Florida and Wyoming to. Last I checked, the ATF doesn't allow New York.
If you are talking about a handgun in Florida, the CCW also waives Florida's three day (which is really three working day) waiting period.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Jun 17, 2014, 11:23 AM

22. A "Rare Blow"? Really?

 

They determined that the definition of a straw purchase extends to the 2nd party purchase of a firearm, even for a person who can legally buy it themselves.

That's a "Blow"?

The gun control fans must really be getting desperate for a "success" to celebrate.

In the meantime in Colorado ... Gov. Hickenlooper (D) is apologizing to the Colorado Sheriffs, for not listening to them before he signed the gun control package last year. He's also admitting that he didn't actually take any time to review the new law and relied on the Senate majority leaders for his input. (Sure, why not throw Morse and Giron under the bus, they're already out of office anyway .)

It's only 5 months to the election and the gun control package is still not polling well in areas Hickenlooper needs to stay in office.

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