Straw buys aren’t the primary way criminals get their guns, but it is one way many do. They get someone to go into the gun store for them and purchase the firearms, someone with a clean background record. It’s happened ever since mandatory background checks first started.
For anti-Second Amendment activists, gun stores are supposedly complicit. That’s why President Joe Biden is threatening to crack down on these stores.
The problem, though, is that sometimes, the stores don’t know.
In Wisconsin, a man was just indicted for making straw purchases.
A Waterloo man has been arrested for allegedly misleading stores when he filled out paperwork to buy seven guns last year.
Cody Stephen Hunt, 29, is accused of indicating he was buying the weapons for himself when he was actually purchasing them for others, according to court records.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Hunt with six counts of making false statements when purchasing firearm on Aug. 19, 2020.
Now, note here that he indicated he was getting the weapon for himself. What it doesn’t say is that he was actually clearly buying for another person.
See, while there are some pretty sloppy people out there who make it clear they’re buying a gun for someone else–friends who work in gun stores tell me some amazing stories of stupidity–but those people don’t get to buy guns. They’re told they can’t because what they’re trying to do is illegal.
What happens most of the time when it’s successful, though, is what seems to have happened in this case. A person goes into the store, buys any number of firearms, says they’re for themselves, and then walks out. They don’t make a show of actually buying for someone else, for example.
And that’s why this push to target straw buyers by the Biden Administration is so wrongheaded.
Yes, straw buys are a problem. No one is denying that. The problem is that gun stores are generally not the ones responsible for them. You can’t blame the store for what two individuals who are unaffiliated with the store actually do. If Joe and Bob decide that Bob will buy a gun for Joe because Joe can’t lawfully do so, Steve’s Gun Store isn’t responsible for that.
Here lately, there’s been this insane idea that the firearm industry has some responsibility or duty to do things that are far, far beyond their control, particularly with regard to straw purchases. They can’t really do more than they’re already doing and are mandated to do by law.
They’re gun sellers, not psychics. If they were psychic, they’d probably make bank as professional poker players and never bother with selling guns for a living.
Not that I expect the Biden administration or anti-Second Amendment voices to ever recognize that fact. They’re too busy looking for someone to blame rather than understanding that criminals are criminals and will do whatever they can to get a firearm. They can’t fathom a world where they can’t blame the gun store.