Pennsylvania man admits to multi-county straw buy scheme

Pennsylvania man admits to multi-county straw buy scheme
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Despite numerous gun control laws meant to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, bad guys still get guns. One of the ways they get them is through the practice of straw buys.

For those who don’t know, a straw buy is where someone with a clean criminal record goes and purchases a firearm for someone who can’t get one themselves. To do this, they have to lie on the Form 4473 which explicitly asks if they are buying the gun for themselves or not.

This is a crime.

However, that didn’t stop this guy in the least.

A Philadelphia man admitted to operating a gun trafficking organization during which prosecutors said he purchased 36 firearms in eight counties in less than three months and illegally transferred them to others using straw purchase schemes.

Daniel Sharif Lucas, 23, of the 5500 block of Irving Street, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, unlawful transfer of a firearm, criminal use of a communication facility and making materially false statements in connection with incidents that occurred between July and October 2020.

The open guilty plea means Lucas as no deals with prosecutors regarding his potential sentence.

With the charges, prosecutors alleged Lucas, between July 7 and Sept. 28, 2020, purchased the 36 guns from gun shops in eight counties, including Montgomery, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Lancaster, Schuylkill and Philadelphia, during the straw purchase scheme.

At the time of Lucas’ arrest in November 2020, authorities said they recovered one of the guns, a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun, during an Oct. 19 traffic stop in Philadelphia of two males who were under the age to purchase or own a gun. Lucas had not reported that firearm, which he purchased on Aug. 2, or any of the 36 firearms as lost or stolen and he was not in possession of any of the guns at the time of his arrest, according to authorities.

Now, Lucas has entered a plea of guilty, so we don’t have to say he allegedly committed straw buys. His plea is pretty much an admission that he did it.

Yet my point is that this instance reveals just one way criminals will get guns. Lucas wouldn’t have done it unless there was a market for it.

Take the two underage males found with the Smith & Wesson. They couldn’t buy a gun lawfully, so they apparently got Lucas to get it for them. Don’t think for a moment he did it out of the goodness of his heart. He got paid for it.

Despite all the laws against it, he committed a straw buy and put guns into the hands of those who can’t lawfully buy one themselves.

This is what these laws are supposed to prevent, yet here we are. They did absolutely nothing to prevent anything, nor will they ever prevent anything. That’s just not what’s going to happen and this is evidence that what I’m telling you is right.

People would be better off by trying to prevent people from wanting to commit criminal acts than by making things more difficult for law-abiding citizens while not really doing much to stop the bad guys.