This case brought by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives is just the latest in a long line of cases that suggests the ATF is a petty bureaucracy drunk on it’s own power, disinterested in prosecuting actual criminals:

Arguments for Abramski v. United States will take place in January.  Bruce Abramski, a retired police officer, bought a handgun for his elderly uncle because he could get it at discount as former law enforcement. Mr. Abramski checked the box on the federal background check form that said he was the “actual buyer.”

After buying the firearm, Mr. Abramski drove to his uncle’s hometown and met him at a gun store. Together, they filled out the paperwork to resell the gun. Mr. Abramski’s uncle filled out the federal background check forms and the transfer was approved. However, ATF pursued the case against Mr. Abramski for saying he was the “actual buyer” in the original sale.

The federal law on “straw purchases” is intended to stop a criminal from having someone who is not a felon, drug user or other miscreant that would get blocked on an FBI background check to buy a gun for him. The buyer, or “straw man,” could then be charged with perjury for lying about the identity of the of the actual purchaser.

The issue in the Abramski case is whether this should apply when a lawful person buys a gun for someone who is legally allowed to own a firearm.