As we saw when we looked at the Brady Bill’s “success” on Thursday, the requirement for background checks aren’t really catching many bad guys trying to buy guns.
Well, let’s be a bit more clear. It isn’t catching many convicted bad guys trying to buy guns. We know that most criminals get their guns illegally, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that straw purchases can and do happen.
They’re not the top way criminals get guns, but they’re definitely a way.
Someone with a clean background check goes into a store, buys the gun as if it’s for them, then transfers it to someone who couldn’t pass a background check if their life depended on it. It happens.
And this guy in Philadelphia was just charged with carrying out straw purchases. A number of them.
Attorney General Michelle Henry announced charges against a Philadelphia man for illegal purchases and distribution of nearly two dozen firearms dating back to 2014. Notably, in just a nine month period in 2022, Bricker purchased 21 guns.
Michael Brickle, 37, is alleged to have “straw purchased” a total of 23 firearms, buying the guns and then selling or transferring them to individuals not legally eligible to purchase and/or possess firearms. None of the guns were reported lost or stolen, and at least six of them were recovered in separate criminal investigations across the Philadelphia region. Many of the guns recovered were linked to drug crimes, one to a shooting incident, and, tragically, one was used by an individual to take his own life.
Brickle was arrested and charged Wednesday with over 40 felony counts of violating the Uniform Firearms Act for illegal firearms transfer and false statements made in connection with the purchase of firearms. Brickle was also charged with conspiracy, tampering with records, and other related crimes.
Brickle was arraigned on Wednesday and bail was set at $1 million.
And really, the only people who are supposed to get away with false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm is Hunter Biden.
Now, how prevalent are straw purchases, anyway? Not overly.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only about 10 percent get their guns via straw purchases. That means they’re getting them from black market sales, theft, or some other source.
But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t an issue. People don’t straw purchase a gun just because they’re avid collectors. It’s an illegal action that carries legal repercussions. These guns were meant for criminal hands and we all know it.
On the same token, let’s not get too carried away. Philadelphia isn’t suddenly going to become safer because this guy was arrested. Even if he’s guilty, 23 guns is a drop in the bucket of sew waste that is the criminal underground in the City of Brotherly Love.
There are a lot of other things happening there that aren’t even touched on with these charges, nor will they be, most likely. That would require a lot more work than recovering a gun at the scene of a crime and figuring out that the person who bought it did so for someone else.