Gun store owners on look-out for 'straw-buy' - WNEM TV 5

Gun store owners on look-out for 'straw-buy'

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Doug Williams is the owner of Dick Williams Gun Shop in Saginaw County.

“There can be, as in any industry, bad eggs in the basket,” Williams said.

He said he would never sell a gun to someone, knowing they planned on passing it off to someone else.

“It's not worth me, as a fire arms dealer, to jeopardize my licensee for a straw-buy,” Williams said.

But that's exactly what happened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A gun store was found negligent Tuesday in what's called a "straw-buy." That's where someone buys something for someone else who is unable to buy themselves.

The person the gun was given to used the gun to shoot two officers, and now, the gun shop is being held responsible.

Williams agrees. It's up to the shop to look out for straw-buyers.

“It is still the responsibility of the fire arms license holder to who he sells the gun to,” Williams said.

In fact, stores like these have guidelines from the ATF so someone can't buy a gun and give it to someone else.

“They give you lots of information, they come in and actually give you seminars. We've had them come in and do for our counter people,” Williams said.

 Some things the shop owners look for include the type of gun not fitting the reason the person is buying it, and what questions they are asking when they do

“If someone comes in and they are looking at a particular gun and when they do the paperwork, the other person with them takes charge of the transaction,” Williams said.

And yet, even with the guidelines and regulations, it's hard to tell who will use the gun once it leaves the shop.

“Anything like this can happen, and sometimes it does,” Williams said.

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