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High Court Rules Against Straw Gun Purchases

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that one person cannot buy a firearm for another person even if they both have a license to own a gun.

The court's liberal wing was joined by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 5-4 decision.

Monday's decision involved a Virginia cop who bought a Glock 19 handgun for his uncle in Pennsylvania in what is described as a "straw" purchase.

However, two lower courts said such purchases are illegal under gun control laws, which the majority upheld.

In explaining the decision, Justice Elena Kagan wrote, "Anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw."

Writing for the minority, Justice Antonin Scalia fired back, "The court makes it a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner." He added that's not what Congress intended when it passed laws on two separate occasions to limit sales of guns to criminals.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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