Criminals and straw purchases

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by lionking, May 8, 2019.

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  1. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    When we opened this store 5 years ago and I was made manager it was made clear to me that I could refuse any firearm sale if I didn't feel comfortable with it. If, as the seller, your name is on the bottom of the 4473, you're the one responsible. If you don't feel comfortable and the boss wants the sale to go through, have them do it and fill out the 4473 and putt their butt on the line. You can bet if you have a boss that refuses to do so or refuses to back your play, then you have a boss who will let you swing in the wind if the LEO's come around asking questions.
     
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  2. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    Prosecute the people making the straw purchases. It's really very simple. Make them an accessary to any criminal action done with the gun/guns. Most of these straw purchases are done by women who are either girlfriends of the criminals and/or a woman who just wants some money.
     
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  3. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    Actually, yes, they are..

    The definition of a strawman purchase is:

    A NON-licensee acquiring a firearm on behalf of another NON-licensee

    *NOTE
    It says nothing about either of the people being prohibited
    a strawman purchase can ONLY be made from a licensee
     
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  4. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    careful what you ask for....

    My guess that many of the people arrested are given immunity in exchange for info.....ergo, going after the bigger fish...so to speak
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I’m not after the failed Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious, just two we know of. The .gov can do more in a day than we could in a lifetime.
     
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  6. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    Some women who do the straw purchases have done it over and over and over for the money. These women know exactly what they are doing. Yet, law enforcement can do nothing to stop the straw purchases.
     
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  7. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Yes, and the Supreme Court agrees with you, See Abramski v. U.S. 573 U.S. _________ (2014), https://www.texascriminallawyerblog.com/us-supreme-court-rules-on-straw-buyer-gun-law/ , https://www.oyez.org/cases/2013/12-1493

    It is not permissible even when both parties are able to own firearms at the time. Abramski was a former police officer buying a firearm using his LEO discount for his uncle. Can't buy something and get reimbursed.

    Weird case because the police found the receipt during search for an alleged bank robbery that Abramski was involved in.
     
  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    A well taken point.

    But, also speaks to the oft-ignored fact that there are an untold number of Federal laws (and there are circa 1200 title in USC alone) which have never been prosecuted. And are unlikely to, as AUSA need a 98% conviction rate to keep their jobs. Which is a fine point that the "We Need More Laws" crowd never want to acknowledge.
     
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  9. Roamin_Wade

    Roamin_Wade member

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    I don’t want to do anything to infringe on true rights by birth that Americans have but I don’t get certain things. What if a felon lives with a woman that’s not a felon? She can buy Firearms all day long. Should we impose a household check per every 4473 filled out? Does a non-felon have the right to bring a gun into their home knowing that their spouse is a felon? To me, that’s a straw purchase, particularly when the firearm is a self defense design and a woman buys it but it’s understood that men defend the home. That’s not sexist, it’s just pragmatic and realistic.
     
  10. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    In IL, with their FOID card, you cannot possess any guns if a member of the household is prohibited.
    Do they do random searches? No.
    They do run the addresses of convicted felons to see if anyone at that address has a FOID card.
    If a match is found, they send out an investigator.
    I don't know if they can police visits, etc but a registered address is a no-no.
     
  11. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Under federal law, a felon can’t have access to guns and a non-felon living with a felon can’t provide access to those guns.

    That’s not what a straw purchase is. A straw purchase has nothing to do with buying guns for criminals, it has to do with buying a gun from a dealer on behalf of someone else. Say my buddy and I — both non-criminals who are able to legally buy firearms — are hanging out. I’m feeling lazy and I know my buddy is headed to the LGS later, so I ask him to buy me a firearm and I tell him I’ll pay him back later. As soon as my buddy checks “yes” on question 11a on the 4473 when he’s buying that gun for me, that’s a straw purchase.

    Women can and do defend their homes, and they’ve been doing it for as long as humanity has been around.
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Right on both counts. Fortunately, they aren't always smart about it, like the gals that came in with a piece of paper (back in the day, now it would be in a text message) written in a man's handwriting. Some would be actually dumb enough to show you the paper, some would just read it off. The bluster when we'd tell them no was hilarious. And yes, on target is right, you can refuse a sale for any reason, as long as it is not directly related to Title VII. (This is hard to prove either way, and fortunately there are usually several reasons in each case that are not relatable to Title VII) I rarely got to the background check, usually the 'spidey sense' was tingling long before that.

    Gangs do indeed keep clean members, and use them for transactions felons cannot complete, and also send some in the military to gain knowledge and other things.
     
  13. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    Alright, say that my father is a forbidden person (which he was).
    Then say that I buy a rifle and bring it into the household.
    Father promptly takes it away from me to do with it as he will.
    Did I make a straw purchase?
     
  14. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Source?
     
  16. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    The definition of a straw buyer endorsed by Supreme Court precedent, is whether you bought the firearm with the intention of transferring it to another (aside from gift issues or even selling a firearm to someone else later which are legal). That is what got Abramski his conviction. Abramski talked with several FFL dealers about how to proceed, received a check from his uncle dated Nov. 15 but did not cash it and it had Glock 19 on the memo line. He bought a Glock 19 in VA on Nov. 17 with his LEO discount, transferred ownership to his uncle at a FFL in PA, and then deposited his uncle's check for reimbursement. Thus, the evidence showed that Abramski bought the firearm with the intention of getting his LEO discount for his uncle and never intended to keep it. Not legal. Neither Abramski or his uncle were a prohibited person and the firearm was purchased from an VA FFL dealer and transferred legally as his uncle was a PA resident and he was a VA resident via a PA FFL dealer. Abramski indicated that he was the buyer on his form 4473 and the investigation showed the rest of the intention to commit a transfer.
     
  17. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    This BJS study came out in Jan. 2019
    Source And Use Of Firearms Involved In Crimes: Survey Of Prison Inmates, 2016 https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/suficspi16.pdf
    Table 5 is the Source of Firearms table and here is the money quote dealing with straw purchasers,
    "About a quarter (26%) of state prisoners and about a fifth (21%) of federal prisoners obtained a
    firearm that they possessed during their offense from an individual in a non-retail setting, such as a friend or
    family member." and
    " Among prisoners who possessed a firearm when they committed the offense for which they were imprisoned
    and who reported the source from which they obtained it, the most common source (43%) was on-the-street or
    the underground market (table 5). Another 7% of state and 5% of federal prisoners stole the firearm, and 7%
    of state and 8% of federal prisoners reported that they obtained the firearm at the location of the crime."

    Now, remember that surveying prisoners who are engaged in various illegal actions may fudge a bit on the truth, especially when locked up and potential admission to other crimes. Particularly, the incidence of using stolen weapons is probably higher than prisoner interviews would indicate,
    " More than 237,000 guns nationwide were reported stolen to the National Crime Information Center in 2016, a database maintained by the FBI. That represents a 68 percent increase in stolen weapons reported to the FBI since 2005. Some of the increase may be attributed to better reporting from local law enforcement.

    The FBI database suggests nearly two million weapons have been stolen around the country in the last decade."
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/2/analysis-lost-stolen-guns-used-in-thousands-of-cri/

    Guns Used in Crime report from the BJS is a bit old (1995) but has some good information on stolen firearms,
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/GUIC.PDF

    The more recent Report of Firearms Stolen in Household Burglaries is a bit more recent https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fshbopc0510.pdf

    And this research, done using Pittsburg PA data, http://www.socialmedicine.info/index.php/socialmedicine/article/view/852/1649
    indicated that about 30 percent of the firearms were stolen.

    "After recovery and when police made contact with owners, more than 30 percent of the
    firearms were said to have been stolen (n = 292, 32.7%), yet only 169 of those (57.9%) had been
    officially reported stolen prior to recovery by police (Table 1). Of the 292 stolen firearms, the police
    could not always determine if the owner of the stolen firearm knew the thief. Forty-nine (16.8%)
    said they did and 33 (11.3%) said they did not. Police determined that in 88 cases the owner
    reported the theft to an insurance company, and in 74 cases they did not."
     
  18. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Don’t forget that in order for it to count as a straw purchase, there must be some sort of arrangement between the actual buyer and the straw buyer at or before the time of purchase from the dealer.

    So if you’re at a shop and you see a gun that you think your friend Bill will want to buy from you and you buy it with the intention of selling to Bill, that’s not a straw purchase if Bill knows nothing about it at the time and there was no prior arrangement made.
     
  19. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    When a person is denied a purchase, the Feds never come to check his 4473, to see if he lied on a question, which would be another felony.
     
  20. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    That was not at issue in Abramski, however, it would be problematic (but difficult to prove) if you bought with the intention to sell to another--remember all that form 4473 asks is that "
    "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual transferee/buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual transferee/buyer, the licensee cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.

    Exception: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a. and may proceed to question 11.b. (See Instructions for Question 11.a.)"

    Abramski failed with his "honest" intentions argument with the Supreme Court that more or less if both people are legal to purchase, then whatever on the 4473 was not within Congressional concern with straw buyers. The court disagreed and made it more or less did you "lie" on the 4473 about being the end purchaser. They concluded that Abramski did and so his conviction was affirmed. Your hypothetical deals more with whether or not buyer and Bill agreed to a deal beforehand which the court did not address as the facts were not pertinent to the decision. The indications of intention to lie would be simply the predated check prior to purchase in Abramski. To my reading of the Court's majority opinion, they determined that simply lying on the 4473 regarding being the actual buyer was material to violating the Gun Control Act of 1968 ( §922(a)(6) ). This reads in part, [the buyer must not] "knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter;"

    Thus, under Abramski, in your hypothetical of the nefarious buyer and the innocent Bill becomes whether or not the nefarious buyer had the "intention" to lie on the 4473 instead of whether a prior arrangement exists--difficult to prove but could be done I suppose.
     
  21. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    I suspect for several reasons, one is that the database has a fair amount of false positives where someone is legal to purchase but is flagged falsely due to name similarity, id theft, etc. Imagine how the FBI and DA's would be battered if they arrested someone who was legal to purchase but denied because of errors. This article claims about 25% false positives in the database, https://www.ammoland.com/2017/12/class-action-wrongful-nics-denials/#axzz51uid0WrW and here https://www.guns.com/news/2018/06/06/5-sue-feds-over-wrongful-nics-denials-sluggish-appeal-process Even the FBI admits it is at least 5% which were appeals of denials where the FBI was proved to be in error https://www.nraila.org/articles/20160122/no-way-out-feds-stop-processing-nics-denial-appeals

    Second, the law requires an indication of intent which a lot of DA's dislike prosecuting compared to other crimes as intent is more difficult to prove. Laws that avoid the intent element are easier to prove and convict in court, e.g. illegal possession of drugs, firearms, stolen goods, etc.

    Third, da and leo manpower is used to prosecute other crimes rather than this for budgetary reasons.
     
  22. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Agreed. The Abramski case had a prior arrangement for payment, my hypothetical situation did not. My point in post #69 was simply that buying a gun with the intention of selling it isn’t necessarily a straw purchase; other criteria must be met also. Either way, I don’t recommend doing that.
     
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  23. rust collector
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    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    In the Abramski case, I thought the defense argument that ATF had simply added the question to the 4473 without any rulemaking or due process would be persuasive. I was wrong. It would not surprise me now to see a question asking if I had stopped beating my domestic partner.
     
  24. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I think this thread started with a misinterpretation of the data. The OP started off stating that "most criminals get their guns from straw purchases." This is not true.

    The statistics quoted by member boom boom does not state that the "quarter" of state prisoners or "fifth" of federal prisons obtained their firearms through straw purchasers, simply that they "obtained" the firearm they possessed [during their crime] from someone in a "non-retail setting" i.e., friend or family member. My experience, having actually interviewed any number of felons regarding how they procured their firearm, is that they relate they were "given" the gun by a friend or family member (typical of the gang-related crimes) -- or more often -- they stole the gun from family (typically parents or relatives, especially by those involved in drug-related crimes).

    While there's no doubt that straw purchases are happening a lot, all over, let's not presume this is the average criminal's usual source for his/her firearm, or make the mistake in claiming that most criminals obtain their guns through straw purchases.
     
  25. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Abramski is one of those crimes that probably would not have been prosecuted apart from they suspected him of pulling a bank robbery (and neither the feds nor the state could prove it sufficiently to get convicted.) However, the search warrants allowed them access to search for any other crime that they could get him on and they found one. That is one of the reasons that it is problematic to use the FBI's UCI reports because of plea bargaining--actual offenses committed by an offender may be much more severe but more difficult to prove.
     
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