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Supreme Court Rules Against Sham Straw Gun Purchases

A divided Supreme Court has ruled in a Virginia case that the federal ban on “straw gun purchases” can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun. Bruce James Abramski, Jr. bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville in 2009 and transferred it to his Uncle who lives in Pennsylvania. Problem is, he assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the weapon, three days after his uncle had already written him a check for $400 with Glock 19 handgun written on the memo line and further, Abramski answered yes on a federal form during the purchase that he was the actual buyer.

His attorneys later argued in court that since he could legally buy a gun, and so could his uncle, the deal was ok. By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court disagreed, saying federal gun laws were intended to prevent sham buyers and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Twenty-six states and the NRA had sided with Abramski.