Guns Supreme Court

SCOTUS: Straw Purchases of Guns Are Illegal


In a rare win for gun control advocates and people who aren’t insane, the Supreme Court ruled today that purchasing a gun for someone else is illegal even if the person who ultimately receives the weapon can legally obtain it

From the Associated Press

The justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a Virginia man who bought a gun with the intention of transferring it to a relative in Pennsylvania who was not prohibited from owning firearms. [...]

Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said the federal government’s elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun and fill out the paperwork.

Now that it’s been established that straw purchasing is illegal, totalitarianism must be within earshot.

  • aynwrong

    So does this mean that Scalia believes I can go and buy a new car and just give to whom ever I please and the State in which that person lives need not be informed?


  • muselet

    Scalia scoffed at the majority’s reading of the law, noting that if [the straw purchaser, Bruce James] Abramski intended to buy the gun as a gift or to use as a raffle prize, the government would consider him the true buyer.

    “If I give my son $10 and tell him to pick up milk and eggs at the store, no English speaker would say that the store ‘sells’ the milk and eggs to me,” Scalia said.

    Antonin Scalia’s judicial opinions are generally predictable, but this is special. In his hypothetical, which he seems to think is some sort of rhetorical master-stroke, he provided the means for another to buy products for him and yet thinks he should not be considered the true buyer of those products.

    In one (ridiculous) sentence, Antonin Scalia articulated the basis for making laws against money laundering, influence peddling and product liability unenforceable. What an ass.


    • FlipYrWhig

      So Nino Scalia has never heard the phrase “Buy me [blank]?” Because I’m a lifelong English speaker, and I think it’s pretty damn familiar.

    • Draxiar

      I wonder, if Scalia pays someone to go out and get a blow job so that person can come back and give it to him is that prostitution?

    • GrafZeppelin127

      If that were my father, he would insist upon being recognized and acknowledged as the buyer.

    • Badgerite

      Guns don’t kill people. Eggs and milk kill people.
      And there, of course, is the distinction. Eggs and milk don’t kill people. Guns do.
      So the state has an interest in seeing that those guns are NOT sold to those who want them to kill people with.
      Eggs and milk. Not so much.
      Scalia. There is no substitute. (Greatest legal mind of our time.)
      So far, he has equated eggs and milk with guns and gay sex with murder.
      What could go wrong.

  • Lady Willpower


  • trgahan

    So a straw purchase is “…that purchasing a gun for someone else is illegal even
    if the person who ultimately receives the weapon can legally obtain it…”?

    Isn’t that also known as gun running? Or is that term just for when a brown person does it?

    • Churchlady320


  • Draxiar

    The fact that four of them didn’t agree with this decision makes me fucking nervous.

    • MrDHalen


  • GrafZeppelin127

    Can’t wait to hear how the Heroes of the Next American Revolution™ take this one. I’m sure it’ll be depressing as hell.