‘Straw’ purchase ruling a setback for gun-rights advocates

by Bill Myers, CNN  |  published on June 23, 2014

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The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the conviction of a man who bought a handgun but broke the law by not disclosing his intent to resell it to a relative.

It was a rare setback for gun-rights advocates who contend government efforts to track and keep firearms out of the wrong hands go too far.

The court ruled 5-4 in the “straw” purchase case against Bruce Abramski, a former police officer who told a Virginia gun dealer in 2009 that he was the “actual buyer” of the Glock weapon. He then sold it to his uncle in Pennsylvania for $400.

Abramski said he and his relative were legally able to own it. But he was charged with making false statements, convicted and sentenced to probation.

At issue is whether such misstatements are “material” to an otherwise lawful sale and whether that kind of information should be kept by a federally licensed dealer.

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