Debate Magazine

A Rare Arrest for Straw Purchasing

Posted on the 12 October 2012 by Mikeb302000 reports
Michael J. Henry, 30, had one thing going for him: a clean record. His lack of a criminal past allowed him to buy guns.
Andrew C. Thomas, 44, had served time for forgery. He could not legally buy firearms, but he wanted lots of them, police said.
Henry, of Philadelphia, and Thomas, of Bala Cynwyd, met in April. On May 30, Henry, allegedly acting as a "straw purchaser," went to a Jeffersonville gun shop and bought a .9mm Beretta - the weapon that authorities said Thomas used five months later to kill Plymouth Township K-9 Officer Bradley Fox.
Though Henry could have legally bought the gun for himself, he broke the law when he did it for Thomas, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
So on Wednesday, Henry was arrested and charged with nine felonies, each relating to illegally buying firearms for Thomas and giving sworn falsification to authorities. The latter charges flow from allegations that Henry lied on gun-sale applications by claiming the weapons were for himself.
The problem is it's nearly impossible to put all this together. The NRA and gun-rights advocates have such a stranglehold on the gun laws that people get away with this all the time. Without registration and licensing, and without reporting-stolen-weapons laws, straw purchasers are almost certain to get away with their tricks.
We have a solution. It's not that difficult.
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