The Gross National Debt

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Supreme Court crosshairs leveled again, sorta

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Another, sorta, gun rights case is now in the hands of the Supreme Court.

I say sorta, because it sort of is and sort of is not about gun rights.

According to everything I read (waiting on Nina Totenburg's piece for NPR),  Bruce James Abramski, Jr. bought the gun and signed a federal document saying he was the intended owner. The next day, working through an FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder, he transferred to gun to an uncle. Uncle cleared by BATF to own the gun. Uncle paid for the gun.

The issue here is Abramski bought the pistol because he could get it cheaper than his uncle could. He always intended to pass it over to his uncle. Aye. There's the rub.


He signed the paper saying he intended to be the gun owner. Yes, for one day, but he also bought the gun fully intending to turn it over to his uncle.

Here's what the BATF form states: "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."

I ain't a rocket scientist, but looks to me to be pretty clear here that Abramski is guilty of what BATF has charged him with, to wit: making false statements about the purchase of the gun.

That ain't about gun rights. That's about telling the truth. Or is it?

Here's where gun rights come in. I have two children, both of whom "own" guns. I bought the guns fully intending to make a gift of them to my children. As they are minors, they cannot legally own a firearm. Once they reach the age of majority, they can legally own firearms and the guns will be fully theirs as far as I'm concerned. My first real gun was gift from an uncle.

Here's where telling the truth, signing a piece of paper and gun rights merge.


Guns are gifts regularly. Should this be illegal? A spouse buys a gun for the other spouse. If both can legally own a gun, should this kind of gifting be illegal? Why? Why not?

Guns are heirlooms. While some people may plan to live forever, they won't. Guns are left to survivors in wills. Under the very strictest reading of the BATF regulation (I do not see it as a law because Congress did not specifically authorize that wording in the BATF forms), that can't happen. More in a moment.

Guns are used in raffles as well. Is this illegal? The raffle, possibly, depending on the individual state law and how the raffle winner takes possession of the gun.

Many, many people buy a gun and own it for years. Then, they sell it, gift it or trade it. Under the strictest possible interpretation of the BATF regulation, this is not allowed. Government can't even take it. See the Fourth Amendment.

Abramski bought the gun fully intending to pass it over to his uncle. He did so the next day. Lemme remind you BATF cleared BOTH MEN through the background check form to do this transfer. Ambramski also cleared this with three FFL holders. Sounds to me like he did due diligence. BATF did their job too. I reiterate for the dense out there - Background checks were done with each sale!

Someone buys a gun and intends to keep it. But what if they change their mind and sell it a week later? A year later? A decade later? Under strict BATF rules, this is not permissible. It couldn't even be sold back to an FFL holder!

Is there a time limit on how long that signature on the BATF form must be enforceable? If so, how long?

My point here is people buy a gun and sign paperwork saying they intend to own it. Unless they are buried, cremated, tossed over the side, etc with said firearm, someone else is gonna wind up with gun. If you make this illegal, then not even the government can take possession of the gun. See the Fourth Amendment for specifics.

For those who demand background checks, one more time - background checks were done on both men, both of whom passed. Both sales were conducted through an FFL holder. If you demand universal background checks, this sale passed with flying colors.

The central question must then be, can a person buy a gun and later sell, gift or trade it? BATF says no. BRB and the Constitution says yes.

2 comments:

  1. Tough one. I bough a pistol for Justin one year and wondered about the very same thing. We're both concealed weapons permit holders, passed backgrounds, and still violate the law (in the strictest sense).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gun laws changes from country to country. It is utmost important to understand what gun laws are in the state where the person is staying and act accordingly if he owns (or want to) a firearms.

    Regards,
    Jacky

    ReplyDelete