Gun Control Wins Supreme Court Decision in Virginia Case

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The case began with a man in Virginia, former police officer Bruce James Abramski, Jr., buying a handgun and transferring ownership later to an uncle in Pennsylvania. When a gun is purchased with the intent of transferring ownership, or other words purchasing by proxy, it is known as a “straw” purchase, a practice banned on the Federal level.

Abramski's defense is based on the gun being transferred to another legal owner, maintaining that no violation of legal gun ownership has occurred. However, the opposition believes the law's purpose to not just be about the legality of gun ownership, but also about maintaining an effective trail of legal gun ownership for records to be accessed by law enforcement agencies during criminal investigations involving those guns.

The case began with a bank robbery it was thought Abramski was involved in. There were no resultant charges to Abramski concerning the robbery, but he was charged with making false assertions about the gun purchase.

With gun advocacy and gun control being hot political topics, and with wide support on both sides of the issue, the case eventually reached the Supreme Court, where, in a 5-4 decision, it was ruled that the Federal ban applies even when the recipient of the gun would be a lawfully entitled owner.

Briefs were submitted by various states to the court, with 26 states supporting Abramski's interpretation of the law, and 9 states supporting the Federal Administration's stance.