Monthly Archives: April 2013

Where the Guns Come from

From Ten Miles Square:

Despite its frequent assertions that it represents the interests of law-abiding gun owners and dealers, the NRA has put a lot of time into defending precisely those people who do the most to arm criminals.

Lobbying by the association has left the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives almost powerless to enforce laws on gun purchases intended to prevent unscrupulous and negligent dealers from supplying the black market. Since police trace more than half of the guns they recover in investigating crimes to about 1 percent of the country’s dealers, gun-control advocates should ask whether to direct more of this moment’s widespread outrage toward making sure that the basic laws we already have are properly enforced.

For example, the owner of Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Wash. could not account for 160 firearms when the bureau audited him in 2000. It is, of course, extremely unlikely that 160 weapons could simply disappear from a gun store without the owner’s knowledge, but there was nothing the bureau could do. In 2002, when police traced the rifle used in the Beltway Sniper killing spree to Bull’s Eye, the owner claimed it had been stolen, though he hadn’t reported the theft of the $1,600 gun before…

Continue reading at the Washington Monthly