Oh, the things the Feds will do with this! Abramski is gonna be the excuse for all kinds of tyranny! Trust Ol' Backwoods: this ruling is what the gun grabbers have been waiting for, lusting for. The Bradys are already salivating.
This ruling takes Federal gun laws in a dangerous direction. Justice Antonin Scalia said in the dissent that this was not a direction intended by Congress:
"The court makes it a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner... Whether or not that is a sensible result, the statutes Congress enacted do not support it."Maybe. But that doesn't matter. When has anyone ever stopped the progressive Supreme Court from legislating from the bench?! To the progressive Left, laws don't exist to punish their protected criminal classes, oh, no, they exist to take freedom from the undesirables. Like, say, peaceable gun owners.
In the majority ruling, Kagan whines that Congress did not do enough to keep Americans from "getting a gun second-hand:"
In so designing the ["straw buyer"] statute, Congress chose not to pursue the goal of “controll[ing] access” to guns to the nth degree; buyers can, as the dissent says, avoid the statute’s background check and record-keeping requirements by getting a gun second-hand. But that possibility provides no justification for limiting the statute’s considered regulation of dealer sales.
The Constitution provides justification for limiting it, but you won't admit that, will you, Kagan? Scalia calls Kagan on her gun-control ambitions:
The majority’s contrary conclusion rests, not on anything in the text or structure of the Act,but on the majority’s guess about how far Congress meant to go in pursuit of its crime-preventionIf the American people do not massively rebel (big "if"), this ruling will give Obama everything he wants on guns.
Huh? Yep. With this ruling, Obama and the Left now have most of the pieces of an Erector set, from which to construct an unconstitutional machine for registration and confiscation of all legally-owned firearms in the United States.
Here's the bill of materials for The Gun-Grabbing Machine:
- All new guns must be sold only through dealers, and recorded on a Form 4473
(Gun Control Act of 1968).
- Notify FBI before transfer of any gun at a dealer
(1993 Brady 'instant background check').
- Increasingly militarized local police that cooperate with the Feds whenever told (coming since Clinton, and now here).
- No more gun transfers without a dealer
(Abramski ruling, today).
- (Still to come) Prohibition of all transfers of guns to non-LEOs,
like the Hughes Amendment did with machine guns in 1986.
Just assemble and activate. Confiscate and exterminate. Insert Abramski, and turn key to start.
You doubt? Let's break it down.
It is exceedingly difficult for courts and/or LEO's to determine when a possessor "decided" or "intended" to privately transfer a gun to another person. It's in the person's mind, and the action is identical, whether or not the intent existed. As of the Abramski ruling today, is a lot easier for courts and LEO's to just assume everyone who transfers a gun to another person outside an FFL intended to do so before signing the Form 4473. This makes anyone who transfers a gun to another person outside an FFL into a "straw buyer" and an instant felon. The charge? The ATF's oft-used "Conspiracy to violate Section 922 of the US Code".
Post-Abramski, it is then de facto illegal to give a gun to someone without them taking possession by a transfer through a licensed dealer. The transfer of the gun to another person is half of a private sales transaction. The rest is just money. It is but a tiny, tiny step, measured in millimeters, for some lower court to cite Abramski and rule that all firearms that move in lawful commerce must be transferred via a gun store on a Form 4473.
Even if a court doesn't rule that way, all it would take is for the ATF to write a "determination letter" to that effect, start enforcing it, and it's done. "Stroke of the pen, law of the land, kinda cool," as "The Forehead" Paul Begalla said. Obama's ATF has tried similar extralegal maneuvers before, like forcing a CLEO signoff even for a machine gun transfer to a trust.
Without the ability to legally transfer a gun to another person without the intervention of an FFL, all lawfully-owned guns will eventually be registered - a name, an address, the model and a serial number will be on a Form 4473, either at ATF HQ, or in some gun shop somewhere. I say, "lawfully-owned," but the very definition of what that means at the Federal level will be re-written by the results of the Abramski decision.
Next, the Feds will make the leap, not far from where we are now, that Form 4473's are in the same category of information as cell phone metadata, because Abramski. Because someone, somewhere, might possibly conspire to give their uncle a gun. Then, the NSA will start hoovering up 4473's, to stop them "terrists" and their uncles.
At that point, they'll have the locations of MILLIONS of 'lawfully'-owned arms. They can either send LEOs to confiscate them, or use the information for blackmail, either to complete their registry, or for political intimidation. Or all three.
Want to go work for FedGov? Or, a cooperating state like Kommiefornia? The computer will say: "Checking 4473s for Mr. Backwoods Engineer... Found: 22... FLAGGED!" Turn in all the serial numbers of your guns, you "terrist"! Tell us what you have now! Because Abramski! If you don't, you might conspire to give one of them to your uncle! And by the way, you Tea Partying Threeper sovereign citizen, you're going to get an IRS audit to boot.
But what about the lawfully-owned guns that don't move in commerce anymore? Suppose you buy a few AR-15's, or even just a lower. Say you want to go out and shoot it. But the Feds get a ruling or a law, or the ATF demands that all shooting ranges have to log the serial numbers of all arms coming in their door. Because Abramski, and someone might conspire to give a gun to their uncle at the range! Horrors!
Tabulate, correlate, investigate, interrogate, confiscate, and exterminate.
Or, how about the future finding by this tyrannical government that getting a concealed carry license in your state qualifies you for a search of your property for guns not on a Form 4473! Because Abramski, those are contraband, because if those guns aren't registered with the Proper Authorities, you might give one to your uncle! Horror of horrors!
I believe Abramski will be the justification for prohibiting ALL private transfers, with or without money changing hands. It is inevitable, the next logical step, in their statist minds. And they'll get all the cover they want from the media. "No more straw sales!," the newscrone will screech. "Gun show loophole? Supremes say NO!," the headlines will read.
Private sales of firearms in America: GONE. Because Abramski. Because if we don't, someone might give a gun to their uncle. Count on it: it WILL happen at some point.
Watch for it. And remember, the worst of it all got started today, with the Abramski ruling.
UPDATES: several opinion writers, and a Constitutional scholar, agree with Ol' Backwoods:
Via David Codrea, attorney Joshua Prince says of the decision:
There is NO law enacted by the Congress regarding straw purchasers! This was made up in whole cloth by the ATF! This is a FAR worse decision than anyone is comprehending. NOW, administrative agencies can enact criminal laws, which have NOT been enacted by the Congress!From Dave Workman:
Nelson Lund, a constitutional scholar and Second Amendment expert at George Mason School of Law, had this to say: “Five members of the Supreme Court have decided to make it a federal crime for a lawful gun owner to buy a firearm for another lawful gun owner. No federal statute says any such thing. The Justices are once again legislating from the bench, which violates the Constitution, and enacting a retroactive criminal law, which is even worse.”Kurt Hoffman at JPFO (Ol' Backwoods is a member):
So either gun laws need not meet strict scrutiny regarding their Constitutionality, or the "compelling government interest" is actually cataloging gun owners, rather than controlling violent crime.David Codrea has much more on the ruling. SCrOTUS, LOL.
UPDATE 10/27: A nice attorney, Bruce Provda, emailed to correct the link to the Abramski ruling, which I had linked in the paragraph regarding Justice Scalia's dissent. The link now goes to the PDF of the ruling on Mr. Provda's site, which does indeed pull up the ruling.