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2014-06-26

'Straw purchase' conviction upheld between eligible family members

By Alice Tripp

By Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
Texas State Rifle Assoc.

USA Today on Supreme Court decision or Wall Street Journal on Supreme Court decision on straw purchases - no matter what version you read, the story is the same.
A police officer, eligible to purchase and possess a firearm, bought a handgun for his uncle, equally eligible to purchase and possess a firearm. The nephew was charged and convicted with a federal felony, making a straw purchase.
This case went through the state's appellate courts and was heard by the United States Supreme Court and upheld 5-4.
Does this mean a father can't buy his son's first deer rifle at Christmas? A wife won't surprise her husband on his birthday with a new handgun?
We thought we understood "straw purchase" as intentionally purchasing a firearm for a person not eligible to own or purchase a firearm him or herself or who intended to commit an illegal act.
At a time when an anti-gun media fueled by liberal politics attempts to convince gun owners to expand the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check) system to require the inclusion of all sales and all transfers of firearms, we must not forget the tiny number, less than 1 percent, rejected by NICS who are never charged and never prosecuted for their crime.
Current Federal law prohibits categories of convictions plus a handful of others including undocumented aliens from purchasing and possessing a firearm. It's a federal felony for a felon to attempt to purchase a firearm.
So, explain to me how can I buy my granddaughter her first rifle without becoming a felon? Do we want more of this type of Supreme Court decisions? Who picks Supreme Court Justices anyway? It's a lifetime appointment and picked by the president.
I'm worried. We have reason to be.