(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that one person cannot buy a firearm for another person even if they both have a license to own a gun.
The court’s liberal wing was joined by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 5-4 decision.
Monday’s decision involved a Virginia cop who bought a Glock 19 handgun for his uncle in Pennsylvania in what is described as a “straw” purchase.
However, two lower courts said such purchases are illegal under gun control laws, which the majority upheld.
In explaining the decision, Justice Elena Kagan wrote, “Anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw.”
Writing for the minority, Justice Antonin Scalia fired back, “The court makes it a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner.” He added that’s not what Congress intended when it passed laws on two separate occasions to limit sales of guns to criminals.
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