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Old March 21, 2012, 11:54 AM   #10
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,811
The OP here has problems.

Originally Posted by NJgunowner
...The straw purchase provision was originally meant to stop someone who can't legally buy a firearm from getting a 3rd person to do it for them. The problem is the wording of the law...
I'm sorry, but that is wrong. The "law" is 18 USC 922(a)(6):
(a) It shall be unlawful -

6) for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, 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;...
The issue is that when someone is buying a gun on behalf of another, at that person's request, on his behalf, as his agent, the person purchasing the gun is not, in the contemplation of the law, the actual purchaser. He would therefore be making a false statement if he claims on the 4473 to be the actual purchaser. And that is what the ATF considers to be a straw purchase.

See the ATF publication Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide, 2005 which states on page 165 (emphasis added):

Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises is located. Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee. In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm.

In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware of the false statements on the form. It is immaterial that the actual purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms...
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