Maybe there should be a measure of "mens rae" introduced back into the legal system? All the literal interpretations and case law seems to send an awful lot of Americans to prison for essentially doing nothing.
I think that willful intent is really at the center of this. He bought the gun and said he was buying it for himself on the form when in fact he intended to transfer it to someone else.
I think the concerning thing for this is not so much for gun owners but everyone: it is not clear what Federal law (no one has ever been able to show me the language supporting this) says you cannot buy for someone else who is allowed to own it. Kagan basically said this is OK because the government has a significant police interest in doing this.
But she wasn't able to show how this in fact is illegal, and I think that cuts to the heart of Scalia's dissent.
So now the government can essentially construe something as illegal if they have a public security interest in doing so.
What will happen next is predictable: some prosecutor will push this logic to its limits. Some poor schmuck will be convicted thereupon, lose years of his or her life while this wends its way through the courts and gets to SCOTUS, who (probably) realize (by then) that they are going to have to define a limited scope around today's ruling to stop this opportunism from running amuck.
So two things you can conclude:
1. This is much broader and worse than just for gun owners because of the potential precedent it generates;
2. We have a terrible Supreme Court (but we knew this already).
By the way, sorry for maybe sensationalizing the title of this thread a little..
Last edited by SeaMac; 06-16-2014 at 08:34 PM.
By the way, he muddied the waters here by basically lying on the form. So actually there was some conflation of issues here that helped create scope for Kagan's bs.
If you want to change the world, the way you should handle this is:
1. Fill out the form saying you intend to purchase it for someone else;
2. When the FFL refuses the sale serve him with a civil summons to Federal court (don't worry, a Federal judge will quickly reassign defendant status to the Feds).
Never lie on a Federal form. Ever. Tell the truth and then confront them legally when they abuse their authority in the face of that truth. If that had been done this might have gone the other way.