Thursday, April 11, 2013


Never mind the symbolic significance of the emporium in question -- let me just say that I'm shocked, shocked!, that illegal gun transactions are taking place at a gun shop:
Federal authorities say a Connecticut gun shop that legally sold weapons used in the Newtown school shootings lost its federal firearms license after the December massacre because of hundreds of violations over the past several years.

A document prepared by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explains why Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor lost its license. Some of the hundreds of violations included letting a felon buy ammunition and selling firearms without background checks....
According to a Connecticut news story, the shop was inspected in 2007, 2009, and 2011, and in those inspections, more than 500 violations were found -- but the shop was let off with warnings. Finally (PDF) there was a hearing in August 2012 -- but the store was notified that its license was revoked only on December 20, 2012, six days after the Sandy Hook massacre.

I have to assume that if that massacre hadn't taken place, the shop would have been let off with yet another warning. (We're told that "between September 2004 and January 2010, the licensee received 11 separate instances of instruction from the ATF regarding how to comply with federal firearms laws and regulations," but "The ATF says losing the license is pretty rare ... last year, it revoked only about 1 percent of them.")

Think a little more scrutiny might be in order for other shops -- shops like Chuck's Gun Shop in the Chicago suburb of Riverdale, the #1 source of Chicago crime guns?
From 2008 to March 2012, the police successfully traced the ownership of 1,375 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago within a year of their purchase.

Of those guns, 268 were bought at Chuck's -- nearly one in five.
The majority of crime guns in Chicago come from Illinois shops -- and the problem seems to be one that Mike Bloomberg tried to highlight in a 2006 gun sting:
... investigators ... traveled to five states.... The investigators, in teams of two, entered gun stores and followed a scenario commonly known as "straw purchasing" – where one individual makes all of the inquiries into purchasing the gun, and then the other individual, completely uninvolved in the sale process, fills out the required federal forms to pass the background check. Federal law prohibits licensed dealers from selling firearms to individuals when they have a reasonable belief that the firearm being sold is not for the person who purports to be the purchaser.
But as Bloomberg tried to conduct stings in various states -- even sending in would-be purchasers who said they probably couldn't pass a background check -- he was met with nothing but derision. In Virginia, the response was a gun giveaway in Bloomberg's honor and a law making such stings illegal. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer denounced him. He was warned away in west Virginia. And so on.

Maybe what President Obama and gun-control advocates should have done in the wake of Sandy Hook was wait for the gunners to make their usual demand that we "enforce existing laws," then take that demand very, very seriously. Except then we might not have a licensed gun dealer left in America -- or would that really be a bad thing?


Victor said...

It'll never happen, but to end the proliferation of guns in this country, you allow current gun owners to keep what they have - and then make it finacially more onerous to own and sell them.

Step 1:
EVERY gun, like every car, must be registered by an owner.

Step 2:
Require insurance on each gun.

Step 3:
Enforce all existing gun laws - STRICTLY!

Step 4:
Allow people to sue the gun manufacturers and gun-sellers for liabity.

Like I said - NEVAHAPPENIN!!!

Buford said...

Here in the backwoods of Colorado, over thirty elected Sheriffs are suing the State to "protect the second amendment"...yet, they turned down protecting Colorado Amendment 64...Democracy...don't ya love it?