A federal district judge rejected Abramski's argument that he was not a straw purchaser because his uncle was eligible to buy firearms and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
The Obama administration had argued that accepting Abramski's defense would impair the ability of law enforcement officials to trace firearms involved in crimes and keep weapons away from people who are not eligible to buy them. The administration said that even if the purchase is made on behalf of someone eligible to buy a firearm, the purpose of the law is frustrated since Congress requires the gun dealers — not purchasers — to run federal background checks on people buying guns.
Abramski claimed Congress' goal was to prevent guns from falling into the hands of convicted felons and others barred from owning firearms. He said that goal is not furthered if the gun is transferred to someone legally allowed to own guns.
The National Rifle Association sided with Abramski, asserting that the government wrongly interpreted the law and improperly expanded the scope of gun regulations. Twenty-six states also submitted a brief supporting Abramski's view of the law, while nine states and Washington, D.C., filed papers bolstering the Obama administration.