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Bloomberg V. Guns

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard details of Michael Bloomberg and the city of New York hiring private investigators to conduct a sting on out of state gun dealers that are the source of crime guns in New York. USA Today had the story first:

Wearing hidden cameras, the investigators entered stores in teams of two and attempted “straw purchases,” in which the buyer completes the paperwork and passes the background check, but later hands over the weapon to someone else who is not allowed to own a firearm.

More specifically:

The city said the undercover investigators entered stores in teams of two, usually a man and a woman. While the woman roamed the store and acted disinterested, the man made all the inquiries about the gun and made it clear he was the buyer. When it came time to make the purchase, the woman would step up to fill out the paperwork.

Trouble for Bloomberg is that if this is how it went down, then it’s not necessarily illegal, assuming that the man was not a prohibited person. If the man was a prohibited person, the investigators broke the law. Also, said private investigators from New York have zero law enforcement authority in the states wherein they committed these supposed investigations. They may have also committed felonies by giving false info on ATF Form 4473, which asks specifically:

Are you the actual buyer of the firearm indicated on this form?

Further, it looks as though Bloomberg’s antics jeapordized real investigations:

Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to hire private investigators to conduct undercover stings at Southern gun shops has potentially jeopardized several criminal cases, law enforcement sources charged.

Four cases were compromised and an additional 14 were put at risk by the six-week sting aimed at gun stores in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, the sources said.

The sources argued that several suspects being watched by authorities had frequented some of the 15 gun shops–but are now cleaning up their acts or lying low because of the publicity. None of the ongoing cases was linked to New York, the sources said.

“A bunch of private eyes straight out of ‘Barnaby Jones’ run their own sting operation and all the real enforcement agencies find out about it on the day they are having a press conference? Not good,” said a law enforcement source in Washington.

The Justice Department held a meeting last week to review potential problems, another source said. “The goal is to lock up gun criminals, not file civil lawsuits with publicity stunts,” the source said.

And, the final bit of funny, is that the ATF may be investigating this sting:

ATF has said they will be investigating every aspect of these “sting” sales (and there were ATF people present who repeated that). This may be bad news for the city, since IF the sales were illegal straw sales, their investigators committed felonies.

I’m going to go ahead and call Bloomberg’s latest antics of sending private investigators to investigate gun shops in other states for the purpose of suing them a victory for gun rights. Why, you may ask? Simple. It essentially shows that NY’s stringent and draconian gun laws are not having the desired affect. Since folks are unwilling to deal with the real issues after their ideas fail, they must have a scapegoat. In this case, that scapegoat is SC, GA, VA, etc. The facts are that NY has some of the most stringent/draconian gun laws in the country (in third place, with DC first and Chicago second) but they still have a significant number of gun crimes. Since they passed the laws, there must be some reason those aren’t working and it must be due to the failure of other states. Otherwise, they’d have to admit their laws are not an effective means to their end.

And watching the failures and consequences of the actual investigation unravel is kind of amusing.

13 Responses to “Bloomberg V. Guns”

  1. straightarrow Says:

    I am not amused. Put Bloomberg in jail. Conspiring to commit fraud upon the court is a slamdunk.

  2. Resistance is futile! Says:

    Carnival of Cordite #61

    Welcome once again to the Carnival of Cordite, a weekly round-up of blog posts on the subjects of shooting, gun ownership, self-defense, the Right to Bear Arms, and other related topics. I’m pushing the Carnival back to its normal Friday

  3. SayUncle » Bloomberg at it again Says:

    […] Not only does Bloomberg conduct illegal stings on gun dealers, he’s cracking down on sparkler smuggling: . . . the NYPD is now dispatching undercover cops into Pennsylvania to stake out firework vendors, as New York magazine recently reported. When they see a NY license plate, they snap a photo and prepare for the bust back home. […]

  4. SayUncle » The WaPo Editorializes On Gun Laws Says:

    […] Scare quotes around rogue? That’s because the only person who has broken the law in Bloomberg’s investigations are the City of New York and its agents who illegally purchased weapons from otherwise lawful dealers. There’s been no evidence the dealers broke the law but plenty of evidence to state that NY’s investigators did. […]

  5. SayUncle » Catching gun criminals in New York Says:

    […] Background here. […]

  6. SayUncle » NY Gun Bills Says:

    […] Is that why you conducted an illegal sting operation against gun dealers who were playing by the rules and are now getting sued for it? […]

  7. SayUncle » Says:

    […] […]

  8. SayUncle » A case to watch Says:

    […] That also happens to be a felony, like when Bloomberg’s investigators did it. But: Tomline’s lawyer argues the form isn’t specific, and that Tomline did nothing wrong by giving his mailing address. […]

  9. SayUncle » Bloomberg comes to town Says:

    […] Seems Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam is a member of Michael Bloomberg’s Alliance of Mayors Against Guns. I have intentionally left off the word illegal because Bloomberg’s antics have not targeted illegal gun dealers but legal and lawful dealers. Bloomberg has waged a war against lawful gun dealers. A refresher on Bloomberg’s antics: Michael Bloomberg and the city of New York hiring private investigators to conduct a sting on out of state gun dealers that are the source of crime guns in New York […]

  10. SayUncle » What Mayor Bill Haslam Will Be Up To Says:

    […] And recall that Bloomberg’s sting: […]

  11. Toys in the Attic » Blog Archive » If This Is True….. Says:

    […] UPDATE: Jeebus, I’ve been out of it. SayUncle informs me this is nothing new.   [link] […]

  12. SayUncle » ATF Investigation Says:

    […] Seems the senators are upset that we’re wasting our money on niceties when that money could be spent on stomping kittens, err, tank fuel, err, model rockets, err, breaking the law at gun shows err law enforcement. Yeah, that’s it. Meanwhile, here’s one of those crimes you could be investigating. […]

  13. Baltimore may join Bloomberg’s NYC gun lawsuit Says:

    […] on the NY lawsuit were used in sting operations against gun dealers, many of them out of state. Say Uncle reports that several of these stings in support of the civil litigation actually jeopardized […]