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Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm not sure what the NRA, et al ...

... hope to accomplish on this one:

On Wednesday, the high court heard oral arguments in Bruce J. Abramskiv. United States. The justices will decide whether to overturn an appeals court decision that said Mr. Abramski broke federal straw purchasing laws when he bought a gun with the intent to resell it to his elderly uncle, even though neither man is prohibited from ownership.
I read the arguments transcript and it seemed like a bunch of cat-herders trying to maintain order. Of course, a large part of the problem was the justices trying to make some sense of the GCA (which is nigh impossible).

As to the arguments of the case, I'm sure that the plaintiff (and the NRA, since they've joined him) believes he's been wronged (I do, too) but the constitutionality of the case seemed to me to be a case of legal-parsing and minutia.

It seems to me that the purchase and subsequent transfer to Abramski's uncle was handled about as legally as it could have been (I believe that Abramski could make the case that by going to the dealer in to have a NICS check done, he implicitly transferred the firearm to the dealer).

Seems like a rather dubious way to make your bones in the ATF.



Sean D Sorrentino said...

I think it's pretty obvious what this case is intending to prove. Over and above getting this guy off for a technical violation of a rather silly law, it will blow a giant hole in any attempts to require "universal background checks."

GCA'68 was intended to keep guns out of the hands of people prohibited by GCA'68. It was never intended to prevent law abiding people from having guns. Apparently the entire question, "Are you the actual purchaser" is something that the ATF came up with on their own. The intent was to stop people from buying guns for criminals. The effect is preventing people from buying guns for their father. The first is likely to be ruled a legitimate use of government power. The second is about to get overruled.

Think about this. We've been arguing that most, if not all of gun control is an attempt by gun haters to limit gun ownership and simultaneously to track all the guns in private hands. They claim it's to stop crime. Well now they have to stand in front of the Supreme Court and make the case that preventing a retired cop from selling a gun to his father has some reasonable relationship to stopping crime. And they can't do it.

I think that this is going to be a sleeper/surprise win for us. No one is paying attention, and at the end of this case the Supreme Court is likely to rule that the only legitimate purpose for gun control is to control crime and every infringement on the right to keep and bear arms must be justified in reference to that alone.

Does requiring a background check before a private transfer between two lawful owners prevent crime? Does maintaining some sort of ownership record of firearms prevent crime?

I think it's going to be pretty big. And I agree with you, the people who brought charges on this case were just stupid. What did they hope to prove?

Sean D Sorrentino said...
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