A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that a federal ban on “straw” purchases of guns might be enforced, even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun.
The justices handed down a 5-4 ruling last June 16 on a case against a Virginia man who bought a gun, intending to transfer it to a relative in Pennsylvania who was legally allowed to own a firearm. The ruling settles many disputes in appeals courts over a law attempting to make sure firearms did not end up in the hands of those not legally allowed to carry a firearm.
The buyer, Bruce Ambramski, was later arrested, but never charged in connection with a bank robbery. He then faced charges with making false statements considering the purchase of the gun since he checked, “yes” when buying the gun to the question, “Are you the actual transferee buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.”
He pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to five years probation. Opponents of his case argued it would make it impossible for a dealer to run a thorough background check if the dealer did not know the ultimate buyer. It was also argued that if the law was not upheld, it would also be easier for an illegal buyer to find a “straw” buyer to purchase the gun with the intent of transferring it.
If you are facing any type of gun-related criminal charges, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with experienced criminal defense attorneys. Call today for your free, initial consultation.