Anonymous or Straw or Benami Purchase of fire arms:
Gun purchase procedure:
The law of USA lay down a detailed procedure and steps to be taken before a gun is sold to a buyer. It requires the dealer to verify, at the point of sale, whether a potential buyer may lawfully own a gun. Section 922(c) brings the would-be purchaser onto the dealer’s “business premises” by prohibiting, except in limited circumstances, the sale of a firearm “to a person who does not appear in person” at that location. Other provisions then require the dealer to check and make use of certain identifying information received from the buyer. Before completing any sale, the dealer must “verif[y] the identity of the transferee by examining a valid identification document” bearing a photograph. §922(t)(1)(C). In addition, the dealer must procure the buyer’s “name, age, and place of residence.” §922(b)(5).
And finally, the dealer must (with limited exceptions) submit that information to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) to determine whether the potential purchaser is for any reason disqualified from owning a firearm. See §§922(t)(1)(A)–(B).
Two statutory provisions, each designed to ensure that the dealer can rely on the truthfulness of the buyer’s dis-closures in carrying out its obligations, criminalize certain false statements about firearms transactions. First and foremost, §922(a)(6), provides as follows:
“It shall be unlawful . . . for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from [a licensed dealer] knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement . . . , intended or likely to deceive such [dealer] with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter.”
That provision helps make certain that a dealer will receive truthful information as to any matter relevant to a gun sale’s legality.
Gun purchased on false declaration:
Bruce Abramski offered to purchase a handgun for his uncle. The form that federal regulations required Abramski to fill out (Form 4473) asked whether he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the gun, and clearly warned that a straw purchaser (namely, someone buying a gun on behalf of another) was not the actual buyer. Abramski falsely answered that he was the actual buyer. Abramski was convicted for knowingly making false statements “with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale” of a gun, 18 U. S. C. §922(a)(6), and for making a false statement “with respect to the information required . . . to be kept” in the gun dealer’s records, §924(a)(1)(A). Abramski contended that Congress’s use of such language alone, sans any mention of “straw purchasers” or “actual buyers,” shows that “[i]t is not illegal to buy a gun for someone else.”
Intent of statute is against Straw or Benami Purchase:
What the true buyer would not do—what he would leave to the straw, who possesses the gun for all of a minute—is give his identifying information to the dealer and submit himself to a background check. How many of the statute’s provisions does that scenario—the lawful result of Abramski’s (and the dissent’s) reading of “transferee” and “person”—render meaningless?
Start with the parts of §922 enabling a dealer to verify whether a buyer is legally eligible to own a firearm. That task, as noted earlier, begins with identification—requesting the name, address, and age of the potential purchaser and checking his photo ID. See §§922(b)(5), (t)(1)(C); supra, at 2. And that identification in turn permits a background check: The dealer runs the purchaser’s name through the NICS database to discover whether he is, for example, a felon, drug addict, or mentally ill person. See §§922(d), (t)(1); supra, at 2. All those provisions are designed to accomplish what this Court has previously termed Congress’s “principal purpose” in enacting the statute—“to curb crime by keeping ‘firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them.’ ” Huddleston, 415 U. S., at 824 (quoting S. Rep. No. 1501, 90th Cong., 2d Sess. 22 (1968)). But under Abramski’s reading, the statutory terms would be utterly ineffectual, because the identification and background check would be of the wrong person. The provisions would evaluate the eligibility of mere conduits, while allowing every criminal (and drug addict and so forth) to escape that assessment and walk away with a weapon.
Similarly, Abramski’s view would defeat the point of §922(c), which tightly restricts the sale of guns “to a person who does not appear in person at the licensee’s business premises.” See supra, at 2. Only a narrow class of prospective buyers may ever purchase a gun from afar—primarily, individuals who have already had their eligibility to own a firearm verified by state law enforcement officials with access to the NICS database.
And likewise, the statute’s record-keeping provisions would serve little purpose if the records kept were of nominal rather than real buyers. As noted earlier, dealers must store, and law enforcement officers may obtain, information about a gun buyer’s identity. See §§922(b)(5), 923(g); the firearms law contemplates that the dealer will check not the fictitious purchaser’s but instead the true purchaser’s identity and eligibility for gun ownership. By concealing that Alvarez was the actual buyer, Abramski prevented the dealer from transacting with Alvarez face-to-face, see §922(c), recording his name, age, and residence, see §922(b)(5), inspecting his photo ID, see §922(t)(1)(C), submitting his identifying information to the background check system, see §922(t)(1)(B), and determining whether he was prohibited from receiving a firearm, see §922(d). In sum, Abramski thwarted application of essentially all of the firearms law’s requirements. We can hardly think of a misrepresentation any more material to a sale’s legality. No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun’s purchaser—the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer. Had Abramski admitted that he was not that purchaser, but merely a straw—that he was asking the dealer to verify the identity of, and run a background check on, the wrong individual—the sale here could not have gone forward. That makes Abramski’s misrepresentation on Question 11.a. material under §922(a)(6). And because that statement pertained to information that a dealer must keep in its permanent records under the firearms law, Abramski’s answer to Question 11.a. also violated §924(a)(1)(A). [Source: Abraska v. United States, (USA Supreme Court)]