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2010 College graduate Danielle Heitmann states that straw purchases of guns are “technically legal” (“Religious groups discuss gun-purchasing loophole,” 3/23/2011). What country does she live in?

In the United States, gun dealers require non-dealer prospective purchasers to complete ATF Form 4473. This applies to transactions at the dealers’ places of business as well as transactions at gun shows. Question 11a on this form asks if the person completing the form is the actual buyer. If an untrue response is provided here, a federal felony is committed. In other words, straw purchases are illegal.

Perhaps if Heitmann and her colleagues were more familiar with existing gun laws they would be less eager to have more gun laws enacted.

Nicholas Gonedes Professor of Accounting and Finance


Did The Daily Pennsylvanian perform any investigation or just parrot the words of Heitmann?

A simple search of the web would identify the state and federal laws that prohibit straw purchases.

I wonder why effort is wasted pressuring a business to sign a code of conduct to follow the law? Wouldn’t this energy and passion be better directed at the people who are using the guns illegally? What about expending those efforts toward changing the behaviors that cause the loss of life?

I do agree with one part of Heitmann’s comment. Straw purchases are “totally wrong.” But we should address the real issue rather than demonize the dealer.

David B. Horvath 1998 School of Arts and Sciences graduate

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