“A divided Supreme Court sided with gun control groups and the Obama administration Monday,” news.yahoo.com reports, “ruling that the federal ban on ‘straw’ purchases of guns can be enforced even if the ultimate buyer is legally allowed to own a gun.” Click here to read the decision. “Writing for the majority, Justice Elena [“the Heller case in settled law”] Kagan said the federal government’s elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun a fill out the paperwork. In dissent . . .
Justice Antonin Scalia said the language of the law does not support making it a crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.
The Obama administration had argued that accepting Abramski’s defense would impair the ability of law enforcement officials to trace firearms involved in crimes and keep weapons away from people who are not eligible to buy them. The administration said that even if the purchase is made on behalf of someone eligible to buy a firearm, the purpose of the law is frustrated since Congress requires the gun dealers — not purchasers — to run federal background checks on people buying guns.
So even though the original intent and language of the law are clear, the re-interpretation of the law to suit current law enforcement thinking is OK because it’s a good idea. Huh. [h/t MS]