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What would most improve gun shop accountability?

The ongoing Washington Post investigative series, The Hidden Life of Guns documented 60 cases since 2003 in which gun stores, shut down by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), stayed open. Shops are often re-licensed through relatives, employees, associates or newly formed companies. Read the full story.

By Ryan Kellett  |  December 13, 2010; 5:23 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Until we all end the control of the senate by low population, gun-loving western states, congress will never give the various levels of police adequate power to enforce gun laws. Otherwise we could emigrate to more sane countries like, say, Canada.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | December 14, 2010 9:16 PM

Here's one idea: The NRA disappears.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | December 14, 2010 10:54 PM

One of the finer points that Wapo investigations found is that the tracked stores in Arizona had complied with all the Federal laws.
A Fence at the border would help more than the tomfoolery Janet has going on down there.

Posted by: dottydo | December 15, 2010 1:22 AM

@dottydo: So what if those store complied with federal law? Hippies dropping LSD complied with all federal laws---before acid was made illegal.

And a fence would not stop gun exports, any more than the Maginot Line stopped the Wehrmacht in 1940.

We need a highly-organized, long-term education and lobbying effort by real Americans to convince the public that gun control laws do not threaten individual liberties and will not lead to higher crime. This will counter NRA disinformation.

Further, we need pro-gun control think tanks to provide research backing these points, and to show that the Supreme Court was wrong in Heller v DC. The NRA and affiliates for years turned out disinformation arguing that the 2d Amendment gives an individual right. It does not.

It may take 30 years, but it can be done. The dissent in Heller indicated the minority is ready to overrule Heller. It will take only 1 more Obama appointee to get there.

Posted by: Garak | December 15, 2010 8:19 AM

Garak - how is it acceptable to want Heller vs DC to be overruled, but wanting Roe v Wade to be overruled is not? Why is there this double standard when it comes to overruling previous supreme court cases?

If overruling Roe v Wade is being an activist judge, wouldn't overruling Heller v DC also make one an activist judge?

Posted by: GabrielRockman | December 15, 2010 8:27 AM

Gabriel - The answer is easy. It is because one ruling is correct and logical and the other is wrong and illogical. Wrong decisions like Dred Scott, for example, should be overruled, while correct ones like Brown or Roe should not. And I would be delighted to argue this case.

I also agree with Garak's other points.

Posted by: lensch | December 15, 2010 8:40 AM

Garak

You realize DC has the biggest drops in gun crime after Heller right?


If we want to address the Mexico issue only two things will work, full control of the border from both sides (not likely as Mexico cannot control its norther areas) and harsh punishment of straw buyers who often are let off the hook.

The ATF often says the dealers are not the issue it is the straw buyers, why do we need more regulation on dealers if they are not the problem?

Posted by: flonzy1 | December 15, 2010 8:44 AM

Perhaps the WP could do a story about the results (crime) in the US now that most, if not all, States have made Concealed Weapons Carry permissable. Here (Florida) it has declined and recently 2 guys who tried to rob a jogger got a big surprise (1 dead). A gun may be the weapon of choice in a crime, but remember the first decision was to commit the crime, not how to commit it, that's always the 2nd decision...only AFTER making the 1st one.

Posted by: wmboyd | December 15, 2010 9:00 AM

Perhaps the WP could do a story about the results (crime) in the US now that most, if not all, States have made Concealed Weapons Carry permissable. Here (Florida) it has declined and recently 2 guys who tried to rob a jogger got a big surprise (1 dead). A gun may be the weapon of choice in a crime, but remember the first decision was to commit the crime, not how to commit it, that's always the 2nd decision...only AFTER making the 1st one.

Posted by: wmboyd | December 15, 2010 9:02 AM

It is a sick joke that we allow the sale of weapons designed for warfare to anyone except the miliary or police. The NRA is all about making money for the gun industry and is most successful at bribing and threatening anyone who gets in their way.

Posted by: artexc | December 15, 2010 9:12 AM

The article and the comments all miss the central, salient fact: gun control laws removing gun rights from law-abiding citizens have NEVER resulted in lower crime, lower violence, lower murder rates, etc, ever, anywhere they've been implemented. We know this empirically, therefore there exists no rational basis whatsoever to enact more gun control laws. The gun control argument is 100% emotional, with 0% effectiveness.

Crime and violence have nothing to do with guns; it's about human behavior. The UK provides a good example. They used to have fairly liberal gun laws, but have gone all the way down the slippery slope to a total ban on private firearms. Yet, violent crime is higher now than it was 50 years ago when gun laws were more liberal. Homicide rates are essentially unchanged.

Posted by: _BSH | December 15, 2010 9:59 AM

Background checks must be required whenever guns are purchased, wherever purchased, including gun shows. And there needs to be a wait time, too, after the background check is performed before getting a gun. Frontier days are over, but some people hold onto the past forever.

Posted by: eal1 | December 15, 2010 1:15 PM

When I tried to register a 410 shotgun in DC that I had since 1958 I was sent to a gunshop that was authorized to inscribe a serial number on it. The ATF visited the gunshop twice over the issue of a serial number. The last visit was made by three ATF lawyers who apparently believed that if they saw the small child's shotgun for squirrel hunting first hand, that somehow their combined synaptic powers would be enhanced.

As a 10 year old child I worked in a cotton field to get enough money to buy that shotgun for $66 and it cost me more than that to comply with the DC regulations to register it.

In summary, the ATF should be entrusted with no authority to do anything concerning firearms given the excessive stupidity I experienced from them.

Posted by: Buffalobob1 | December 15, 2010 1:24 PM

The question is wrong to begin with. Make criminals more accountable. Felon in possession of a firearm is a crime - so prosecute those found breaking the law. Same with straw buyers. Gun shops are not the problem - criminals are the problem. If someone passes a background check, then the gun shop is not responsible. If a gun is selling to felons who failed the background check, then prosecute them for "knowingly" selling to a felon. ATF must have some felons to do stings - real felons, not cops saying they are felons.

Posted by: cfan1 | December 15, 2010 1:36 PM

Demand that NRA Gun Shows be open to Reporters (with their cameras).

If cameras had not been forbidden at the last gun show that I attended at the Astrodome in Houston, TX, I could have taken photos of "WACO" David Koresch, a red neck woman selling xeroxed pamphlets on "How to Extract Information", with pen and ink drawings of a man strung up to a tree limb by his thumbs, ETC, Brass Knuckles being sold as "Paper Weights" to get around the Law, and a middle-aged man (in camoflauge pseudo- uniform and wearing a black beret)
continuously showing a VHS Tape and explaining how to convert a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun into a BELT-FED, BI-POD mounted weapon!
If cameras and reporters were allowed to enter NRA Gun Shows, the public would clearly see that what used to be a sportsman and gun collector organization has become a super club for KKK, Aryan Nation, Nutcake 'militia' survivalist, White Trash.

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 15, 2010 1:45 PM

We have our own home-grown terrorist organization: it's called the NRA. A small group of wackos have held the country hostage to their extremist views for well over a generation now, because they are well-funded. They have continued to spread every kind of falsehood about both the constitution, and about those who favor gun control. Seriously, whay does a hunter need an assault rifle? To shoot squirrels? They have been against bans on armor-piercing ammo - are deer now wearing flack jackets? Most comical is the purported need of the citizenry to be able to have guns to resist federal troops - they'd like a rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft missiles, and bazookas, I suppose, too - just to make it a fair fight?

There is no evidence that turning every town into the wild west makes it any safer. Studies have had conflicting results. To my mind, a nation that calls itself "Christian," in any sense, cannot think that killing others is permissable. Every other society that does not allow guns to be carried, or which has an extensive permitting process, has far less violence and crime than ours.

Lufrank1 is correct. The NRA has become a hangout for every kind of lunatic, and has managed to convince hunters and others who legitimately own weapons, that it is their best interest to join them.

Posted by: garoth | December 15, 2010 2:24 PM

EAL1 Posted:

Frontier days are over, but some people hold onto the past forever.

____________________

That’s a pretty typical thing for someone from the city to say. Drive an hour in any direction from DC and ask the farmers if they could effectively do their jobs without guns. Both pistols and long guns have their places.

The Post's Headline for this series is stupid by the way. "The Hidden Life of Guns"? I tell you that I have guns and not a single one of them has ever killed anyone. They stay locked up until they are used for whatever purpose they are intended for. A gun is just an object that if abused can be dangerous, but then so can a car, a drink, or even an animal.

People look to the Second Amendment like it is an archaic piece of legislation. However, it is intended to provide the ultimate check on tyranny, the people. You might say that, "Oh that is only what a crazy right winger would say", or "That is not an issue in this day and age", or my favorite "The law is used to keep the government in check". These are all true. However the Founding Fathers envisioned a day when they might not be. Let’s not forget that the Roman Republic endured for 500 years before Ceaser realized that he could easily take power away from the people because he had the weapons and soldiers to do so.

It is cliché to say but, the second amendment does indeed exist to guarantee the first. Unfortunately the phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" has become lost in today’s culture norms (now when we hear of a militia we think of the Oklahoma city bombing) the reasoning for it still relevant. "The security of a FREE State"; The Militia in colonial times were citizens who trained several times a year together to act as a military force for the local community, they supplied their own equipment and their own weapons and were recognized by the State. We have nothing of the equivalent now. The National Guard now is just an extension of the Army, yes they are under State control usually but they can easily be federalized. The closest organization in modern society is in States like Texas and Washington who have State Guards separate from the National Guard.

In conclusion, while there should be laws that restrict weapons to convicted criminals, the mentally ill, and kids. The constitution is pretty clear, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". If you really have a problem with that call a constitutional convention and try to change it, but good luck trying to get three fourths of the States to agree to that.

Posted by: Don30 | December 15, 2010 2:27 PM

Background checks must be required whenever guns are purchased, wherever purchased, including gun shows. And there needs to be a wait time, too, after the background check is performed before getting a gun. Frontier days are over, but some people hold onto the past forever.

Posted by: eal1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gun dealers must always preform a check even at a gun show.

The gun show loop hole refers to the fact I as a private citizen can sell my gun there, as a private person I have no requirement to do a background check only dealers must do that. This is true daily, it is not a special thing having to do with gun shows, I could sell a gun at any time without a background check.

Posted by: flonzy1 | December 15, 2010 2:52 PM

The problem is not the guns, the problems is the criminals using guns. The gun is a tool like any other tool. The use of the tool is the problem. For instance, I could own a gun and you would be just as safe as you before I owned it. I could own a hammer and kill you very easily.

The focus should be on people not the guns.

Posted by: thelaw1 | December 24, 2010 10:40 AM

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