CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia and 25 other states and a territory are joining together to fight an attempt by the federal government to prosecute the sale of guns between legal gun owners.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday the group has filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the matter.

“Our Office is proud to lead a bipartisan group of 27 states and territories in this brief to oppose the U.S. Department of Justice’s attempt to unilaterally create a federal restriction on firearm sales between law-abiding citizens,” said Morrisey in a release.

In the case, Abramski v. United States of America, the federal government is challenging the legality of citizens legally buying a firearm from a licensed dealer with the intention of then selling that gun to another private citizen who also may legally own and purchase firearms.

The government claims that the citizen who buys and then sells the gun is acting as a “straw purchaser,” which they claim is illegal under several federal statutes.

The states, however, argue that there is currently no federal law that prohibits such a transaction between two legal gun owners.

“The State of West Virginia does not discourage private gun sales, but the Department of Justice wants to ensnare innocent West Virginian gun owners in a web of criminal laws if they try to sell their guns,” Morrisey said in the release.

At most, the federal laws currently in the books prohibit private citizens from selling guns to people who are prohibited from owning firearms, such as minors, convicted felons, or people who have been diagnosed as having mental illnesses.

Morrisey mentions that it is up to the states and their citizens to decide whether to implement additional regulations on private gun sales.

“This federal overreach is a blatant attempt to overstep state regulations and Congress in order to steer more gun sales to federally licensed dealers, who then make federal records of every transaction,” stated Morrisey.

The states’ amicus brief is in support of a former Roanoke, Va., police officer, Bruce Abramski, who purchased a gun in 2009 using a law enforcement discount and sold it to his elderly uncle, who lived in Pennsylvania. Abramski and his uncle were legally allowed to own firearms and the transaction was made
in accordance with Pennsylvania gun laws.

The federal government , however, prosecuted Abramski
on the grounds that he made false statements on the gun purchase form. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the conviction this past January.

“While no one wants guns to end up in the hands of a potential or real criminal, the administration’s interpretation oversteps the law and could make criminals out of innocent citizens,” Morrisey said.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Jan. 22, 2014, with a decision to come by the end of the court’s session in June.

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  • cortez warren

    i think that everyone with a gun license to have a gun that way you can protect yourself. thats when you get caught with one its not any harm because its in your name. you can take it anywhere you wanna go you can also carry it in you car.

  • Erion Thomas

    If anything i feel like if you buy a gun with the chance of a discount by all means do it. if you seek it to someone and make a profit off of it thats a bonus but if the person who is wielding the gun and kills someone with it they should get in trouble for it.

  • Ross Bell

    Im a D1 athlete, you probably know me I'm kind of a big deal. Some people call me the "sophomore slayer," because I "Slay" sophomore girls, and tcal. (it was a dare) Anyways I'm better at golf than you. #GolfSwag #ImD1

  • Tony Gipson

    chicken biscuit. chicken biscuit

  • Ross Bell

    God Bless America and God Bless the Mavericks

  • Ross Bell

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Merica'

  • Brandon Lewis

    Well, there is no way to ever prevent a criminal from getting their hands on anything something they want. Persecuting the right to have guns to licensed, and innocent gun owners raises the risk of them and their families getting hurt because their protection has been taken away from them. This would not make anything better at all. A criminal will get access to anything they want, regardless if it is illegal or not. I strongly disagree with this.

  • Ross Bell

    Guns are Good, Gray Threadgill is the man. Merica' #RowdyGent

  • Not Tyler Lee

    Gray Threadgill is a democrat, nuff said. #sweg #republicansrule #sofrat #turntup

  • Nykeisha

    The government will find a way to get what they want regardless, so fighting with them in most cases is pointless. Maybe they will get around it, but the government will find its way.

  • Carolyn Boles

    i am against it,i think private gun sales are not a good idea because they can sell it to minors or crazy people.

    • Nykeisha

      True but not everybody intentions are to sell to a minor or ''crazy people''.

  • Kyle Gonseth

    Basically this is telling United States citizens that if they want to buy a gun and then sell it later that they are committing a crime and can be put in jail or given a fine. This happens all the time its based on whether or not you have the right documentation or not

  • Morgan M.

    While I do believe that the laws should remain the same, I do not understand why Abramski made false statements on the gun purchase form. I also wonder how citizens who do not know each other well will go about selling guns to each other without a background check (to avoid selling to a criminal or someone who is mentally ill).

  • Matthew Wagner

    In my opinion, selling firearms and ammunition should be kept under control by only being sold by certified people or places. A person could lie to another to be able to buy a firearm from them, and then something bad would most likely happen from that. If a firearm is placed in the hands of someone who wouldn't have control over it then crimes could be more likely to occur. Legal gun owner or not, I believe all guns and ammunition should only be able to be purchased from certified stores or salesman.