Iowa man arrested in straw buy scheme

Iowa man arrested in straw buy scheme
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

To hear the media proclaim it, straw buys are the greatest scourge on the planet. In fairness, they’re really just parroting President Joe Biden who opted to focus his attention there rather than black market guns–you know, the guns that make up the majority used for criminal activity in this country?–and now people think there’s really no other way bad guys can get guns.


However, none of us have ever argued that straw buys don’t happen. We’ve seen way too much evidence to the contrary. And, by and large, we’re quite happy to see the cuffs go onto those who engage in such activities.

Folks like one man in Iowa.

A Waterloo man who bought 39 guns in a matter of months in 2020 has been arrested on federal firearm charges.

Waterloo police arrested Joshua William Butler, 34, on Friday on three counts of making a false statement on a firearms purchase, drug user in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

A grand jury handed up an indictment with the charges in April, and the case remained sealed until Monday.

According to the indictment, Butler is accused of submitting false information when he bought 37 pistols from Scheels sporting goods in Cedar Falls, Mr. Guns in Waterloo and Sieh Guns of Avoca, Iowa, between October 2020 and January 2021.

Authorities allege he filled out forms stating the weapons were being purchased for himself when they were actually purchased for other people.

The problem with straw buys is that they can be very difficult to detect.

Oh, sure, there are some cases that are incredibly obvious. Two people walk into the store, one asks all the questions and handles all the guns, but the other guy is the one who says he’s going to buy the gun. Those are easy to spot.

However, a lot of people are smarter than that. They know what they’re doing is illegal and they’ll try to avoid detection. They’ll come in by themselves, ask questions themselves, and buy the gun themselves, giving no clue they’re actually buying the gun for a buddy of theirs who is a felon.


It happens and it’s happened ever since we started conducting background checks.

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot you’re going to do that’ll stop it, either.

You see, most gun stores don’t want to sell to straw buyers either. They’re pro-gun for obvious reasons and they recognize that firearms used in crimes are then used to justify gun control, measures that ultimately threaten their businesses. They don’t want to take part in a straw buy for any reason.

Unfortunately, Biden and company don’t seem to grok that. They want to vilify the very people who are best equipped to help them snuff out straw buys entirely.

Regardless, the good news is that at least one more (alleged) straw buyer is set to be off the streets. Ultimately, that benefits each and every law-abiding gun owner.

Now, if we can just put an end to the gun control push itself, we’ll be in good shape.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member