In a rare victory for common sense in the gun debate, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal ban on “straw” purchases can be enforced even if the person who eventually gets the gun is legally allowed to have one. The 5-4 decision was written by Justice Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote, voted with the majority.
Kagan found that any other reading of the statute, which prevents someone from buying a gun for someone else, would gut the federal law. The case involved a Virginia man who bought a Glock handgun for his uncle who lived in Pennsylvania. Bruce James Abramski Jr. assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the gun and then lied on a federal form. His uncle was legally allowed to buy a gun, but Abramski, a former police officer, thought he could get his uncle a better deal using his police discount.