Straw purchases have become something of a focus for President Joe Biden. To hear him talk, that’s about the only way criminals get guns, so he wants to crack down on these.
The problem is, straw buys only account for a small number of guns getting into criminal hands each year. Most are stolen guns bought and sold on the black market.
However, that’s not to say straw buys never happen. They do, as the charges against a Michigan woman show.
The 21-year-old woman reported a gun stolen to a deputy from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday. She told the deputy that she bought the gun on Aug. 27 and left it in her car, which was unlocked, outside her apartment in Timber Creek, 3300 E. Deerfield Road.
She told the deputy that the gun went missing after her 22-year-old boyfriend — with whom she has a history — took her keys and phone. He may have found the gun and threw it somewhere.
She said she originally bought it out of fear for him and that he didn’t know about it.
The deputy reported that he went to the store and in security video saw the woman with her boyfriend purchasing the gun. He also talked to another member of the sheriff’s office who responded to the scene the previous night, who told him that the woman’s car doors were locked.
In other words, it looks like she bought the gun for her felon boyfriend and is trying to cover it up, which is what she eventually admitted to.
Regardless, the boyfriend is in jail due to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Unfortunately, this is going to continue to happen. We don’t know how the couple comported themselves in the store, but it’s not that hard to imagine he kept his mouth shut and let her pick the gun, thus making it impossible for the gun dealer to know it was a straw purchase. That’s why these things are going to keep happening.
As long as people can lawfully buy guns, criminals will find ways to get their hands on them. The flip side is that even if you prevent people from lawfully buying guns, criminals will still find ways to get their hands on guns.
Straw buys are just one method they use. Even if you figure out a way to stop it, they’ll find other ways, but you won’t stop it.
What we need to do is to raise people to understand that if someone wants you to commit a crime, they’re not acting in your best interests. People who push others to commit straw purchases are being selfish and we need folks to come to understand that. Then maybe they won’t take part in such schemes.
Then again, if we could manage that, we could convince people to just stop breaking the law entirely. In other words, it’s all easier said than done.
Either way, this woman is looking at some prison time and having her ability to buy a gun permanently revoked. I hope he was worth it.