Supreme Court rules against 'straw buyer' in gun case

Comments (30)
TheNewWorld wrote:

This seems like the right decision to me. It should have been 9-0. You don’t buy guns for other people.

Jun 16, 2014 2:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yashmak wrote:

Yeah, I’m a gun rights advocate, and I don’t really understand how this managed to get appealed all the way to the SC. Seems pretty cut and dry.

Jun 16, 2014 3:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion saying that the majority “makes it a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.”

Huh?? What kind of rationale is that? What’s to stop the end buyer from being a felon then? Typical brainless con logic.

Jun 16, 2014 3:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Obsilutely wrote:

I’m waiting on the half-wit Foxonauts to blame this on Obama.

Just like they do with everything else including the death of the dinosaurs…

Jun 16, 2014 3:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BeRealistic wrote:

Seems reasonable to me. Its not like “hey, buy me a pack of smokes while you’re out”

Jun 16, 2014 3:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Purely a minor technicality that could be misconstrued to “screw” any/all owners that sell privately.

Jun 16, 2014 3:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
onemind wrote:

My wife bought me a handgun as a gift a few Christmas’s ago. Did she commit a felony? Apparently so, along with many friends, brothers, dad’s sons and daughters by the tens of thousands each year..I am curious as to how this guy was “caught”. If the gun was not used for a crime, the uncle was not a felon, how did this ever become a case to be prosecuted?

Jun 16, 2014 3:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AndroidPro wrote:

Meanwhile : The real crime

All the Islamic terrorist in Iraq are using weapons and vehicles of ‘straw buyer’ the Iraqi government. What a wonderful way to give arms to Syrian rebels than by asking them to invade Iraq.

Jun 16, 2014 3:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
onemind wrote:

a key point left out of this story…he SOLD the gun to his relative…

Jun 16, 2014 4:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JulsMan wrote:

Why would gun advocates oppose this? How could conservatives oppose this? Can you buy a car for someone else and register it under your name? No. If you want to buy a car for someone else you can pay … and you can sell it to them … but the registration needs follow the firearm. Scalia is a intellectual joke. What would stop a ‘straw-buyer’ to buy for 10 friends, how about 100 how about 500? He would be a fool but Scalia’s constitutional mis-interpretation would make it legal. And how does the straw buyer know that the person they are buying for is legal? Do straw buyers have to run background checks?

Jun 16, 2014 4:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jonathan_Law wrote:

It may be illegal to buy the gun and give it to his uncle, but he could buy a gun, decide he doesn’t want it and then legally sell it to his uncle.

Jun 16, 2014 4:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:

Another 5-4 decision, once again contributing to, mirroring and fostering the divisiveness of American society.

This is the most unflinchingly ideological and politically partisan Court of the 6-decades of my lifetime. The Court’s partisanship and commonplace 5-4 decisions speaks to the downright laziness of these justices (appointed for life), and their lack of concern about their historic responsibility for protecting the reputation of the nation’s highest court, and how their failure to deliberate and reach consensus is undermining American’s confidence that even one branch of our federal government is able to rise above politics and personal partisanship.

If these nine justices, as ordinary citizens, were empaneled as a jury in any American municipal court, and they returned to the courtroom with a 5-4 split, the presiding judge would soundly scold them and send them back to the jury room to continue to confer and stay there until they have done their civic duty. These nine are so reliably partisan that they will not even commit the same energies expected of ordinary citizens when called to jury duty.

What confidence can Americans have in the decisions of the US Supreme Court, when we already know how the nine individual justices will decide before the case is even presented and argued before them?

Jun 16, 2014 4:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Robsss wrote:

They gun lobby will win every time. That is until the guns bought this way end up in the hands of terrorists who use them to attack us. Then we will probably over do it with our response, just like we over do everything after an attack.

Jun 16, 2014 4:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RexMax46 wrote:


I also don’t understand how it wasn’t 9-0. Yes, Scalia, it is “a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.” Question 11a on the ATF firearm purchase from explicitly states this! (1) !


Jun 16, 2014 4:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ArtV wrote:

“Putting true numbskulls to one side,” – Kagan

We are talking about gun nuts here.

And anyway, if they wanted to avoid giving any information or filling out any forms, all they had to do was go to any one of the hundreds of thousands of gun shows.

Jun 16, 2014 4:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MidnightBlue wrote:

So, now gifting a gun is a federal crime? If my father buys me my first hunting rifle, or if my grandpa passes down his civil war musket, should they also be convicted?

Gun advocates will say yes, but in many states guns are treated like any other property and these acts are quite common. The straw buying laws are intended to keep guns away from felons, not to prevent legal gun owners from transferring ownership. IF he were to take it to the range a couple of times and then resell it to his uncle, this would have been perfectly legal. THAT is why it was appealed. The spirit of the law was not violated.

Jun 16, 2014 4:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

If the NRA was smart, they’d come out all for this decision. But when is the last time they supported any common sense at all?

Jun 16, 2014 4:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

‘Yes, Scalia, it is “a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.” Question 11a on the ATF firearm purchase from explicitly states this! (1) !


So, either Scalia is unaware of the law or he’s such a con ideologue that he ignores it. It’s one or the other. To avoid incompetence on the SCOTUS like this, vote anti-R.

Jun 16, 2014 5:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

MidnightBlue wrote:
‘So, now gifting a gun is a federal crime?’

Read the article; It sure is a Crime if you lie on the Form. Any ‘responsible gun owner’ (like me) knows that.

Jun 16, 2014 5:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Evo1 wrote:

The misunderstanding here is that what this guy did was not illegal according to the actual law he was prosecuted under, the Gun Control Act. Nothing in that law makes it illegal to buy a gun for another legal gun owner (and, in fact, even with this decision, that is still perfectly legal). This decision only makes it illegal to buy a gun with the intent to sell it, and then only IF you have already arranged that sale to a specific person prior to buying the gun. It is still perfectly legal to buy a gun and then immediately (as in as soon as you walk through the door of the gun shop) give it away or sell it, as several justices pointed out in oral arguments. What this decision does is allow government agencies to criminalize the intent to do something that is perfectly legal, but which they don’t like. And that’s a dangerous precedent that will affect a lot more than buying guns.

Jun 16, 2014 5:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Burns0011 wrote:

The form itself is here:

It tells you ON THE FORM, at the top of the second page, “I understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a FELONY under Federal law, and may also violate State or local law.”

In the instructions, it tells you that you CAN buy a firearm as a gift for another party, legally.

What you cannot do is buy *for* another party, or as the decision in this case clarifies, buy with the intent to sell to another party.

Jun 16, 2014 6:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:

WarOfOurFathers wrote: ‘something tells me you couldn’t field strip a firearm, kid.’

thanks for the ‘kid’ – you must be a hundred years old ;-)
fyi; I do know how to field strip several kinds of firearms – especially the M16. I shot close to expert with it in the US Army way back when Vietnam was going on. Also, I used to have a collection of 28 of all kinds from flintlock to semi-auto.
back to this article; this guy lied on the form. That is a crime and he knew it. This SCOTUS decision was a no-brainer, which explains why Scalia voted against.

Jun 16, 2014 6:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

@SunnDaySam – I certainly feel like I’m one hundred. Scalia is a tool. Always has been, always will be. Just like every politician, he’s out to serve his own interests.

This man did violate the Letter of The Law. However, he did not violate the Spirit of The Law, which is a whole different ball game. The law in question was intended to prevent people from buying firearms for those who cannot legally own them. The individual he purchased the firearm for (A relative), did however have all legal rights to own a firearm. Which means he did not violate the “spirit” of the law. If his attorney is worth his salt, he will not only win this case, it will create a precedence for future cases like this one.
To sum it up, there are two sides to every law, and you have only, and consistently pointed to one side. Just my two cents.

Jun 16, 2014 7:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

My apologies. That was meant to be typed: If his attorney is worth is salt, he ‘would have’ not only won the case, but created a precedence. Sorry for the wrong tense.

Jun 16, 2014 7:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:

For future reference, the word you mean is “precedent”, not “precedence”

In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case that is either binding on, or persuasive for a court.

1 obsolete : antecedent
2a : the right to superior honor on a ceremonial or formal occasion
b : the order of ceremonial or formal preference
c : priority of importance.

Jun 16, 2014 9:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
njglea wrote:

Good Job, Justice Kennedy and the other four justices who used common sense regarding guns in America!

Jun 17, 2014 10:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
shoeless wrote:

I don’t have enough info from this story to decide. (typical of todays’ journalism).
How long does one have to wait before he can sell a legally purchased product to another legally eligible purchaser using a legal (ffl transfer) format?
That is the whole question, but I can’t find any news story that related the whole story.
Try substituting any other product and see how logical the argument sounds.

Jun 17, 2014 2:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DHites wrote:

If the Uncle was a ‘legal gun owner’ as everyone says, why did he not purchase and register the gun himself? The excuse of “thought he might get a police discount” doesn’t pass the smell test. When the seller did not give him the discount he “thought” he might get, he had the opportunity to back out of the deal and tell his uncle to go purchase and register it himself. He chose not to do that, he chose to lie on the application form, and he chose to accept the consequences of his actions just like any other responsible gun owner. Oh wait, no he didn’t accept responsibility, he chose to cry like a little baby that he got caught breaking the law.

Jun 17, 2014 4:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RexMax46 wrote:

A “cooling off” period is irrelevant. The police officer admitted to buying the gun for someone else, in direct violation of the form he filled out.

Jun 17, 2014 7:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
olemanallen wrote:

Well, I guess my comment did not agree with the Reuters stand on this issue so it was not published.
So, to the moderator and Reuters: FUCK YOU

Jun 18, 2014 10:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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