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Thread: Police officer, gun store owner charged with illegal purchases

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    Police officer, gun store owner charged with illegal purchases


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    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    Must have been trained under the "Fast & Furious" program.
    Holder will give him a job.

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    FUQ, please.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    According to federal court records, Haskins gave money to Slate who would then use his law enforcement discount to buy a specialized gun from Town Police Supply in Collinsville. .... Prosecutors allege Haskins then tried to resell the rifles online for several hundred dollars more than the purchase price. Such purchases are illegal, prosecutors allege, because federal firearms purchase forms require that the purchaser is the actual buyer of the firearm.
    It's hard to tell if the comment about purchasers needing to be the actual buyer applies to the straw purchases or the scheme to sell the guns online. My Spidey Sense tells me that the intervening sentence about online gun sales is there more for editorial content than anything else.

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    Under the strict letter of the law one cannot buy a gun with the intention of selling it to a ffl who will sell it for a profit which is split. If the profit is split then how can they say he is not the buyer...he did not buy it for someone else, he bought it to make $$ on the deal.

    Now, I don't agree with this one ... seems as if you see a good deal on a gun you cannot make some $$ on it.

    One can sell 5 guns a yr w/o a license under the law....so would 5 guns be OK to do this with? And I think that the 5 gun limit was meant to be "selling to a non-ffl".

    I would think that this is more of a civil matter (violating terms of LEO discount) and a matter for disciplinary action w/i the dept. than a criminal one.

    Maybe a case of fraud ...depending on the LEO discount ... but I've never seen a fraud complaint (like employees w/discounts selling to friends or for profit) .. but they may exist.

    We will see.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 07-26-2013 at 03:39 PM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    A straw purchase is buying a gun for someone with a disability. There was no disability here, other than the guns were special deals for LE, or military. I see this one getting tossed, or overturned. There is no reason a person cannot buy a gun and resell it at a profit, as long as the sale is to a legal buyer. This most this case is a breach of contract, and when did that fall under BATF.
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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    A common offense charged under section 922(a)(6) is the “straw purchase,” which entails a material misrepresentation as to the identity of the actual firearm purchaser. See, e.g., United States v. Frazier, 605 F.3d 1271, 1280 (11th Cir. 2010) (“[W]e find the act of falsifying the identity of the ‘actual buyer’ on Form 4473 to be a violation of § 922(a)(6)”); United States v. Blake, 394 F.3d 1089, 1090 (8th Cir. 2005) (purchasing firearms on behalf of another for “some quick money” is a “straw purchase”); United States v. Ortiz, 318 F.3d 1030, 1037 (11th Cir. 2003) (“‘straw purchases’ equally misrepresent the identity of the purchaser in a firearm sale and violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6)” and occur when an unlawful purchaser uses a lawful “straw man” purchaser to obtain a firearm). Although frequently charged in such cases, section 922(a)(6) on its face does not prohibit straw purchases, see United States v. Polk, 118 F.3d 286, 295 (5th Cir. 1997), and section 924(a)(1)(A) may be charged instead, see United States v. Wilson, 175 F. App’x 294 (11th Cir. 2006) (per curium) (finding that falsely claiming on Form 4473 to be the actual purchaser of the firearm is a violation of section 924(a)(1)(A)).

    http://www.ussc.gov/Legal/Primers/Primer_Firearms.pdf

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    "Straw purchase" is a strawman, in this case.

    First, the definition of "straw purchase" has never required that the "actual purchaser" be someone under legal disability. Buying for someone with a 100% clean background who simply doesn't want his name on a 4473, is still a straw purchase.

    But, I'm curious how this actually shakes out. If he was using his discount to split the profit with the dealer, that could certainly be a straw purchase, but it's also "engaging in the business of buying and selling firearms without a license".

    It's not illegal to buy a gun intending to resell it, even at a profit, even if you intend to resell it ten minutes after buying it. It is illegal to "engage in the business", which really isn't defined, but they can demonstrate through repeated purchases resales, especially for profit. (Profit isn't the only factor, and isn't required, but it is a factor.)

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    ...One can sell 5 guns a yr w/o a license under the law...
    Cite, please. I thought that was a myth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Cite, please. I thought that was a myth.
    no myth .. no cite either ... one can sell his/her own guns ... no ffl needed until over 5 a year ... and i think the atf/law looks the other way in some instances (elderly guy selling his collection)

    thats why all these gun-show loopholes are bogus ideas ... enforce the laws on the books ...

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    Regular Member BrianB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    no myth .. no cite either ... one can sell his/her own guns ... no ffl needed until over 5 a year ... and i think the atf/law looks the other way in some instances (elderly guy selling his collection)

    thats why all these gun-show loopholes are bogus ideas ... enforce the laws on the books ...
    The above is a combination of law and legend.

    You can liquidate your entire personal collection, selling off every gun to individual purchasers, even at a ridiculous profit, even if it is hundreds or thousands of guns, and not need a Federal Firearms License. It doesn't matter if you're elderly, and it isn't that ATF "looks the other way". 18 USC 921(a)(22) defines "with the principal objective of livelihood and profit" (one of the elements that requires you to have an FFL). The law explicitly excludes "liquidating a personal firearms collection".

    As far as how many you can buy and resell without requiring a dealer's license, there is no magic number. You need a license if you are engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. You do not need a license if you only make occasional sales, exchanges, or purchase of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or to sell all or part of your personal collection [18 USC 921(a)(21)(C)].

    Of course there is a lot of room for interpretation in all of that - but there is no magic limit of 5 (or any other number).

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    Technical law violation based on stupid laws that criminalize an act to stop another criminal act.

    They should have known better, especially the FFL, but I don't think they deserve a felony for it.

    If the LEO had been a partner in the gun shop, would it have been legal?

    Who turned them in? Most likely somebody who got dissed in the dealings, less likely they were concerned about the law per se.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Technical law violation based on stupid laws that criminalize an act to stop another criminal act.

    They should have known better, especially the FFL, but I don't think they deserve a felony for it.

    If the LEO had been a partner in the gun shop, would it have been legal?

    Who turned them in? Most likely somebody who got dissed in the dealings, less likely they were concerned about the law per se.
    I am assuming that it was the gun shop who gave him a LEO discount was the complaining party.

    Gun shops should stop giving LEO discounts ~ I never gave them any discounts. Especially in my state where police organizations whole hardheartedly supported PA13-3. FFLs should simply discontinue selling to governmental parties until PA13-3's provisions are attacked by police organizations and not supported by LEOs...all LEOs.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 07-27-2013 at 04:17 PM.

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    Police officer, gun store owner charged with illegal purchases

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    A straw purchase is buying a gun for someone with a disability. There was no disability here, other than the guns were special deals for LE, or military. I see this one getting tossed, or overturned. There is no reason a person cannot buy a gun and resell it at a profit, as long as the sale is to a legal buyer. This most this case is a breach of contract, and when did that fall under BATF.
    Actually, as straw purchase is merely buying the firearm on behalf of another person, with or without disability. For example, a person buying a firearm from my Exchange on behalf of someone who has no disability to own a firearm, but also has no Exchange privileges, would be a straw purchase. Folks have tried it with me. It is a no-go.

    Most, but not all, straw purchases are on behalf of a prohibited person.


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    Regular Member XD40sc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    A straw purchase is buying a gun for someone with a disability. There was no disability here, other than the guns were special deals for LE, or military. I see this one getting tossed, or overturned. There is no reason a person cannot buy a gun and resell it at a profit, as long as the sale is to a legal buyer. This most this case is a breach of contract, and when did that fall under BATF.
    What type of disability? Are felony convictions now considered a disability? I know stupidity is, but you still don't qualify for a handicapped parking placard.

    ATF makes it clear " “straw purchases,” the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another. "

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD40sc View Post
    ...ATF makes it clear " “straw purchases,” the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another. "
    Exactly: the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, as opposed to a legal purchase of a firearm by one person for another.

    It is illegal to purchase cigarettes for a minor. It is legal to purchase cigarettes for your mother, even if you have no intention of smoking one first.

    That said, I believe ATF is now purposely misusing the term "straw purchase" to make all such purchases illegal. The current 1173 form reflects this. This is a fairly recent change.
    Last edited by MAC702; 07-27-2013 at 11:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD40sc View Post
    What type of disability? Are felony convictions now considered a disability? I know stupidity is, but you still don't qualify for a handicapped parking placard.

    ATF makes it clear " “straw purchases,” the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another. "
    Hopefully you merely forgot to include the indicatror that your question was sarcasm.

    If not, PM me and I'll explain it to you.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member XD40sc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Exactly: the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, as opposed to a legal purchase of a firearm by one person for another.

    It is illegal to purchase cigarettes for a minor. It is legal to purchase cigarettes for your mother, even if you have no intention of smoking one first.

    That said, I believe ATF is now purposely misusing the term "straw purchase" to make all such purchases illegal. The current 1173 form reflects this. This is a fairly recent change.
    Did you mean form 4473?
    Question 11.a
    Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearms(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.


    And where you sign on page 2:
    I certify that my answers in Section A are true, correct, and complete. I have read and understand the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions on ATF Form 4473. I understand that answering "yes" to question 11.a. if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law.
    Last edited by XD40sc; 07-28-2013 at 12:25 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD40sc View Post
    Did you mean form 4473?...
    Yeah, thanks; typed too fast. That's the question which is NOT a "straw purchase" but has now made it impossible to do a LEGAL 'buying for someone else who could.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Yeah, thanks; typed too fast. That's the question which is NOT a "straw purchase" but has now made it impossible to do a LEGAL 'buying for someone else who could.'
    http://www.gunslot.com/files/gunslot/images/54048.jpg

    I think I saw this guy once when I was a dealer .... he answered no, so I sold to him .. he was a good customer


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    But do they define "buying for another person?" Because I mean if I'm buying it for myself to then resell it to someone else, even if I know who that other person already is, I have still technically bought it for myself to make a profit. It is so vague that it seems like it can go either way depending on the judge/jury.

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    Police officer, gun store owner charged with illegal purchases

    The crime is not really buying the gun on behalf of someone else. The crime is lying on the form. If you answer no, we are not supposed to sell you the firearm. It would be a violation of the regulations (and potentially a crime) if we did. If you answer yes, but are actually purchasing it with the intent of recouping the money and turning over the firearm to another who was the person who really intended to acquire the gun, then you have lied on the form.

    I don't know of anyone who has been prosecuted under this law, however it must be a real bear to prove that the buyer intended not to be the actual purchaser, but was doing so on behalf of another. I suspect they are counting on the question having a deterrent effect on FFLs and customers. I know that I have declined a sale specifically because I had reason to believe that the person who presented himself as the buyer was really buying the firearm for someone else who did not have Exchange privileges.

    One person looked at several firearms and chose one. When I tried to close the sale, another person said he was buying the firearm. I asked who the firearm was for. The customer indicated the person who checked out the firearms and selected one. I informed the customer that I could not sell him the firearm since it looked like he was buying it for another person. We didn't even get to the 4473.

    Had he said something like, "Oh, it's his birthday present, and I am just letting him pick out one to his liking," I would have gone ahead with a clear conscience. However, I believe it was a straw purchase since neither of them argued the point.

    I can't be 100% sure, but I ain't risking our license or a jail term if I have "reason to believe" that the transaction is a straw purchase.

    BTW, I think the law is moronic. I just ain't gonna break it.


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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    How can a person not be the buyer, if indeed they are the buyer? The question is stupid, and should easily be unconstitutional. If I buy a gallon of milk for my neighbor while at the store I AM THE ACTUAL BUYER. Keep in mind a straw PURCHASE, is a purchase to get around disabilities, NOT transferring or manufacturer deals. No matter who the gun is transferred to legally or illegally the person paying and receiving the firearm IS the buyer. The only way for the government to make the claim they are is if the buyer was actually there paying for the gun while the person receiving the gun is standing there at the same time. And if that is a crime then the FFL would be party also. BTW this takes place often with our politicians.

    In this case the law is clearly being abused, and I believe will end up being a spanking eventually if it makes it to SCOTUS.
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    Im not sure how an LEO thought this would last. Like it hate it or love it, the law is the law. Im sure a lot of people buy a first gun for their kid or spouse etc. That's hard if not impossible to prove but buying BULK LEO stamped firearms....... they had to have known that would go south at some point.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopis View Post
    Im not sure how an LEO thought this would last. Like it hate it or love it, the law is the law. Im sure a lot of people buy a first gun for their kid or spouse etc. That's hard if not impossible to prove but buying BULK LEO stamped firearms....... they had to have known that would go south at some point.
    There were no disabilities to the purchase, by either the buyer, or the person the gun was resold to. What they are stamped as has nothing to do with federal law. The only thing they were getting around was manufacturer deals/discounts, which in some states are illegal. Some states have ruled that special dispensation for official government status on a personal level is official misconduct, even if the offer comes from the other party.

    the officer WAS the buyer, whether he was using his money or the money from another. The only question is whether the person the gun eventually ended up with was a legal gun buyer, and in this case it was. The FFL will be asked in trial WHO the person was that purchased the firearm. That person will be the buyer. Not to mention that the question on the form is a clear violation of 5th amendment, as it is used.
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