“I am grateful that the Supreme Court will review this important case. I felt this case was so important, that I joined with Gun Owners of America and other pro-Second Amendment groups to file an amicus curiae brief urging the Court to grant review,” said Stockman.
“ATF’s policy on so-called ‘straw purchases’ is illegal. No one should be convicted and made into a felon for buying and transferring a gun legally. Congress never passed a law prohibiting such purchases, and the ATF has no authority to create new crimes to plug what it perceives to be holes in the law. This case gives the Court the opportunity to rein in a lawless ATF which has repeatedly exhibited hostility to law-abiding gunowners.”
“It is incomprehensible that ATF and the Justice Department wasted federal government resources prosecuting legal gun buyers for nothing more than simple technicalities on government forms while at the same time they helped in sending thousands of firearms to Mexican cartels. This rogue agency must be reined in,” said Stockman
Mr. Abramski is a former police officer. His elderly uncle wanted to obtain a firearm for self-defense. Mr. Abramski made the purchase at a local gun dealer in Virginia who offered discounts to former police officers. Mr. Abramski passed a federal background check at the gun store in Virginia and then brought the handgun to another gun store in Pennsylvania, where the gun was transferred to his uncle, who also passed a federal background check.
Neither Abramski nor his uncle was prohibited from possessing the firearm. Before making his purchase Abramski asked three federally-licensed dealers how he should go about obtaining a firearm for his uncle. All three agreed the sale was legal.
Nevertheless, because Abramski bought the gun from a federally-licensed dealer, he had to fill out an form stating that he was the “actual buyer” of the firearm. The ATF claimed that Abramski’s uncle was the “actual buyer” and Abramski had made a false statement in filling out the form. Abramski was eventually convicted of a felony.
Federal law does not prohibit one eligible person from buying a gun for another eligible person. It is perfectly legal to buy a gun for an eligible gunowner. The law only prohibits transfers to ineligible people. Neither Abramski nor his uncle was ineligible.
The government charged Abramski with making a false statement on the ATF Form 4473, a form that ATF requires. Had Abramski purchased the firearm from his uncle by private sale not involving an FFL, or made a gift of the gun, he could not have been charged.
Briefs in this case will be due in December 2013 and early next year, and a decision is not expected until the middle of next year.