CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a decision on the case of Abramski v. United States, a case dealing with gun purchases between legal gun owners, by June.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, along with attorneys general from 26 other states and territories — including those in neighboring Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia — in filing a friend of the court brief in support of Bruce Abramski, a former police officer in Roanoke, Va.
“You can’t have the federal government try to prosecute legal gun owners if the purpose of the transaction is to transfer guns between one legal owner and another,” said Morrisey of the argument the group is making.
Abramski bought a gun in 2009 using a law enforcement discount and then immediately sold it to his uncle who lived in Pennsylvania. Both Abramski and his uncle could legally own guns and carried out the transaction in accordance with Pennsylvania gun laws.
Abramski was prosecuted for making false statements on the gun purchase form because, on it, he answered he would be the gun’s recipient. Last January, his conviction was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. At that time, the Court said such “straw purchases” are not legal.
The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which heard arguments on Wednesday.
“There’s no law that would bar that kind of private transfer and so we think the federal government is trying to overreach,” said Morrisey on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“They’re saying that they’re trying to close loopholes. We’re saying that, if you want to keep guns out of the wrong hands, then you shouldn’t be concerned about lawful transactions.”