A federal judge in Omaha on Monday sentenced a woman to one year of probation for illegally buying a gun on her boyfriend’s behalf from an FFL at a pawnshop. The woman could have been sentenced to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The boyfriend was a prohibited felon and gang member at the time of the purchase. He later the used the firearm to kill a police officer, Kerrie Orozco, who was trying to arrest him in connection with another shooting. At the time of the shooting, Officer Orozco had recently given birth to a baby and was working her last shift before taking deferred medical leave to care for her child. The baby had been born premature and was finally set to be released from the hospital.
The boyfriend himself was also killed in the altercation with police. The purchaser additionally admitted to investigators that her boyfriend lived out of state. Had the government chose to pursue it, that could have been the basis for yet another federal felony, transferring a firearm to a person who one knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not live in one’s own state of residence.
So to recap, a woman commits an act that implicates at least four separate federal felonies and that leads to the death of two people (including a mother and police officer acting in the line of duty). As a result, she is convicted on one count and does not serve any prison time whatsoever.
It’s little wonder that gun owners oppose further expansion of federal gun control. Gun control advocates insist that the government needs more tools to put gun owners in jail for things like carrying the wrong size magazine, having the wrong or too many features on a firearm, or failing to obtain permission from the government to transfer a firearm to a law-abiding friend or relative. Yet with all the tools at its disposal already, the system lacks the will to imprison those whose behavior actually gets people killed.
Skewed priorities and lack of common sense are problems no law can fix. Indeed, more laws would just make those problems worse.