Supreme Court: Law-Abiding Citizen Cannot Buy a Gun for Another Law-Abiding Citizen

By AWR Hawkins

Gun Shop Counter
Supreme Court: Law-Abiding Citizen Cannot Buy a Gun for Another Law-Abiding Citizen
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(  On June 16th 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a law-abiding citizen cannot buy a gun for another law-abiding citizen.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion and Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent.

As Breitbart News reported on January 25, the case centered on whether a law-abiding citizen could buy a gun he or she planned to sell to another law-abiding citizen. It arose when former police officer Bruce James Abramski purchased a Glock handgun so he could get a discounted law enforcement price, then “transferred the gun to his uncle in Pennsylvania.”

According to ABC News, Kagan wrote that “the federal government's elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers.” She said this is undercut if a person can buy a gun for another person.

Scalia countered by writing that the language Congress used in fashioning background checks “does not support making it a crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

  • 11 thoughts on “Supreme Court: Law-Abiding Citizen Cannot Buy a Gun for Another Law-Abiding Citizen

    1. You guys di know that he was fired from his police department before he bought the gun. So he was not an office at the time of purchase and his uncle wrote him a check for the gun before the purchase.

    2. @RDNK your comment is NOT correct read the form. It specifically asks if you are buying this for anyone else. So you can NOT do what you want with a purchased guy LEGALLY. If you check the box that the gun is being purchased for someone else you don’t get approved to buy it. Although I agree we shouldn’t have to jump thru hoops to buy weapons I DO accept that the rules are here to stay and with it this cop with full intent broke the law PLUS he undermined the spirit of the discount as well. The shop offered a discount for police NOT police families. If they wanted to extend it to others they would have stated so. The big 3 offer car discounts to employees AND their family and friends (Chrysler allows 10 vehicles per year) and states it openly but there the deal was for police ONLY. So this was not only illegal from an ATF standpoint BUT also undermined the discount actually creating a civil fraud. The cop should have known better PERIOD. As a former drug interdiction agent I would never use my position to leverage for someone else I was VERY appreciative of vendors who supported me and my team and that was where the end was period. Dr D

    3. @Vince Warde,let me ask you this ! You say this guy perjured himself ? OK,maybe ! But if he would had waited 2wks or a month instead of immediately selling the firearm,how would that fit into the “actual buyer” senario ? How about if he decided he didn’t like it and wanted to sell it ? There is nothing on the 4473 that says the “actual buyer” has to permanently keep that firearm ! The government cannot dictate to people what they can and can not do with their own property !

    4. Once a firearm or anything else for that matter is purchased legally the owner can do what he wants with it. In 1972 my father in law took me to a gun store and bought me my first firearm, a Colt 38 revolver, so I could “protect his daughter if need be” ! No 4473,no BGC,just a reciept and thank you for your business.Damn,are them days gone forever !

    5. @Joe – You can give guns away as gifts. See the instructions for 11a on back of 4473.

      The issue here, the nephew lied on the 4473 and he gave the nephew a check with a memo about the gun.

      They tried to do the right thing after the fact. In the end, the nephew paid a fine.

      Everyone including Kagen have said the law as written is vague and a mess. Scalia said in his opinion that the government needs to be clear about the intent of the law.

      Congress can change it if we can finally get pro gun forces in each branch of office.

      Even the JD admitted that the law was a mess.

    6. Once again the intent is to make the law abiding gun owner or purchaser jump thru bureaucratic hoops, and thereby discourage further commerce in firearms. How many felons even bother to fill out a 4473, and how many are prosecuted that do. By the way, how many elected officials would fail a Brady Check if subjected to one?

    7. My first issue with this is that it was his uncle. Does this mean it was an illegal transfer when I got a .22 for my birthday when I was a kid. The second issue is obviously that the Fed.Gov. is keeping NICS forms after 24 hours and does have an illegal registry of firearm owners. So the very idea of a gun trace is in itself a criminal act.

    8. Not a surprising ruling at all. This guy perjured himself on the 4473 form. It really is that simple. What was in question was his intent. He intended to immediately sell the firearm – which made him “not the actual buyer”.

      As for the transactions going through a dealer, that doesn’t change this man’s intent. Additionally, going through dealers did not protect a bunch of cops here in CA who were buying handguns not on our stupid roster (cops are exempt) and then selling them at a profit. Under CA private parties can sell their personal off roster pistols – but these guys were buying with he intent to resell. They are being charged with “being in the business of selling firearms” even though all transactions went through dealers with both federal and CA background checks.


    9. “the federal government’s elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers.” Since both parties underwent a background check how did this transaction undercut the system? The record-keeping and tracing ability remained intact. So where’s the problem?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *