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Judge upholds ban on firearm straw purchases

By: The Associated Press and WJAC Web Staff


A Blair County judge has rejected arguments that the state's law banning straw purchases of firearms is unconstitutionally vague.

The Altoona Mirror reports Judge Elizabeth Doyle upheld the law in the case of 52-year-old Brenda Shultz, of Hollidaysburg.

Shultz is accused of illegally buying a gun that her live-in boyfriend used when he shot three people before state troopers killed him. Shultz is headed to trial.

Pennsylvania State Police claim Shultz, 52, made a straw purchase in 2011 when she bought a pistol for her boyfriend, Jeffrey Lee Michael, at a Hollidaysburg gun shop.

A straw purchase occurs when a person buys a firearm for another person, unless it is a gift for a spouse, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild.

Shultz's attorney has argued that the law is vague and that the straw purchase law doesn't specifically address people who buy guns for a partner when they live together.

Michael, who lived with Shultz in Hollidaysburg, used the gun Dec. 21 when he killed Kenneth Lynn, William Rhodes Jr. and Kimberly Scott along Juniata Valley Road. Michael was killed when he was confronted by state police.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times