Lawyer Criticizes Supreme Court 'Straw' Purchaser Decision

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 12:27 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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This week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the conviction of a man who bought a gun for his uncle, without disclosing he was a "straw" purchaser, is an affront to private property rights, according to Lesley McKinney, lawyer for Florida Carry, an organization that works to repeal gun-control laws.

"Concerns for me are what it will do as far as gifting firearms and the issues and the loopholes in the law now that do make transfers legal between people," McKinney said on Newsmax TV’s "America’s Forum."

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"The issues are revolved around the private sellers," she said, noting that licensed firearm dealers won’t really be affected by the decision because Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations apply to them. This real issue is "private property rights … what can you do with your own property?"

The decision also calls into question regulatory issues, she said, noting that Congress wrote the law and "we essentially have a regulation and interpretation that's created a felony."

"It is a blow to all who believe that laws are made by Congress," she said.

The Supreme Court split 5-to-4, with the conservative bloc of the court dissenting with Justice Elana Kagan’s opinion on behalf of the majority. Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote.

Kagan wrote that knowing who is going to possess a gun is an important element for law enforcement when tracing guns during criminal investigations, according to The Associated Press. 

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the minority, disagreed, arguing that the law’s wording does not make it a crime for a lawful gun owner to buy a firearm for another lawful gun owner, AP reported.

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