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AUSTIN, December 5, 2013— Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 26 states and one U.S. territory in filing a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in defense of gun rights. The brief, which was authored by West Virginia, urges the high court to reverse a lower court ruling that criminalizes intrastate private firearm sales from one authorized individual to another.
The case, Abramski v. United States of America, argues that it is not unlawful for an individual to legally purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer if that individual intends to sell the firearm to another individual who may also legally own and purchase firearms. Under the federal government’s interpretation, the individual who purchases the firearm and then sells it to another individual—who is also legally authorized to own and purchase firearms—is violating federal law.
In the amicus brief, the states argue that no federal law regulates private, intrastate firearms transfers between law-abiding individuals who may lawfully possess firearms. Thus, the states explain, the federal government is improperly attempting to criminalize these transactions. Further, the states warn that if the federal government’s interpretation is correct, it could make it a crime to buy a firearm with the intention of gifting it to someone else.
In addition to Texas, the other states and one U.S. territory who joined the amicus brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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