What Is A Straw Purchase?

 Posted on August 14, 2021 in Weapons

IL defense lawyerThe term “straw purchase” is a type of gun crime often used in reference to buying a firearm illegally. More specifically, it is when you go into a gun store and buy a firearm for a person who is legally prohibited from buying or possessing one. The reason the prohibited person might do this is fairly straightforward. He or she would be unable to honestly complete the process.

When you buy a firearm, you have to fill out a form and answer questions showing that you are legally allowed to buy and possess a firearm. The gun dealer then submits the form for review by the FBI, specifically by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System, or NICS for short, to review your criminal record.

The term has been in the news recently because the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago filed charges this week against an Indiana man for conspiring to straw purchase a handgun that was used in the shooting of two Chicago police officers, an incident that left one officer severely injured and the other dead.

Straw Purchase in the News

According to the Justice Department press release, the Indiana man bought the gun from a gun dealer in Hammond, a city just across the Illinois-Indiana border. During the transaction, he marked on federal background check forms saying he was in fact buying the gun for himself. However, federal prosecutors say he bought the gun at the request of a man who lived in Chicago and was not legally allowed to possess a gun due to a felony conviction. That man was the person who allegedly shot the officers.

Ordinarily, straw purchases are considered low priority by federal prosecutors because they are difficult to prove and resources for such investigations are limited, but, obviously, this case is different because it exemplifies some of society’s worst fears. Nonetheless, if prosecutors can prove a straw purchase and you are convicted, under federal law, you could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and face a $250,000 fine.

Contact a Chicago, IL Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

As we discussed above, straw purchasing a firearm is a serious offense because it could have serious consequences like the recent high-profile event. If you have been charged with straw buying a gun or another federal crime, contact a Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel has two decades of experience working on both sides of the legal system. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.



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