A divided Supreme Court sided with gun control groups and the Obama administration Monday, ruling that the federal government can strictly enforce laws that ban a “straw” purchaser from buying a gun for someone else.
The justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a Virginia man who bought a gun with the intention of transferring it to his uncle in Pennsylvania â€” even though the uncle is not prohibited from owning firearms.
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Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said the federal governmentâ€™s elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun and fill out the paperwork.
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