Straw Men Can't Buy Guns

The Supreme Court recently upheld a conviction in Abramski v. United States of a man who stated on a gun purchase application that he was buying the gun for himself when, in fact, the purchase was for a relative. Nelson Lund, a constitutional law expert from George Mason University School of Law, discusses the case.

Prof. Nelson Lund

Prof. Nelson Lund

The case focuses on the “straw buyer” concept where one person purchases a gun for another. Abramski was charged under 18 U.S. Code § 922. Lund opines that the Court misinterprets the law in the Abramski case; “so it’s therefore a new law.” Lund does not necessarily think this case says anything about the Court’s view of gun control or the Second Amendment.

Lund feels that the result in this case was not what Congress had in mind when it passed the statute used to convict Abramski. Lund notes that both men would have been legal purchasers. The other man, Abramski’s uncle, could have bought the gun himself. Abramski was a 5-4 decision which drew a strong dissent from Justice Scalia.

University Professor Nelson Lund has written widely in the field of constitutional law, including articles on constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Speech or Debate Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Uniformity Clause. Since joining the faculty at George Mason, Professor Lund has taught Constitutional Law, Legislation, Federal Election Law, Employment Discrimination, State and Local Government, and seminars on the Second Amendment and on a variety of topics in Jurisprudence. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.