Baltimore’s ATF Lawsuit: Taking Aim at ‘Law-Abiding’ Gun Dealers

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Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown is expected to join forces with Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns city and its gun-grabbing Mayor Brandon Scott. It’s also reasonable to assume that ATF’s new “leadership” under citizen disarmament zealot and Director Steve Dettelbach doesn’t mind being sued. If he “loses,” the Tiahrt Amendment, an appropriations provision that now prohibits ATF from disclosing information from its weapons trace database to anybody other than a law enforcement agency or prosecution in conjunction with a criminal investigation, will be undermined.

“Baltimore sues ATF over gun data denied in public information request,” The Baltimore Sun reports. “The lawsuit, filed alongside gun control advocates Everytown Law on Monday, challenges a decision made by the ATF to reject a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the city this fall for information including the top ten sources of guns used in crimes in Baltimore from 2018 to 2022.”

Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown is expected to join forces with Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns city and its gun-grabbing Mayor Brandon Scott. It’s also reasonable to assume that ATF’s new “leadership” under citizen disarmament zealot and Director Steve Dettelbach doesn’t mind being sued. If he “loses,” the Tiahrt Amendment, an appropriations provision that now prohibits ATF from disclosing information from its weapons trace database to anybody other than a law enforcement agency or prosecution in conjunction with a criminal investigation, will be undermined.

His boss wants it, and so do his boss’s followers, and, let’s face it, he wants it. After all, the government will only spend taxpayer money “defending against” it, and this is an opportunity to advance a long-standing gun prohibitionist agenda. Tiahrt also prevents any data released in those investigations from being admissible in civil lawsuits against gun sellers or manufacturers, which is unacceptable to those whose mission it is to force gun dealers to close shop and cut off citizens’ “legal” source of supply.

The fact that doing so will simply mean that the only sources left open are the “illegal” ones is unimportant to power monopolists, who see increased “gun violence” as a “beneficial” means to generate demand for more “gun control” edicts. Along with suppressing private sales by arbitrarily redefining the term “engaged in business,” ATF has launched a full-court press on “legal” sources with so-called “zero tolerance” FFL revocations.

Add to this subversion from the bench, as with the Jimmy Carter-appointed federal judge, John L. Kane — may his treasonous, idiot name live in infamy — who went through so many legal contortions his head disappeared when he ruled the Second Amendment doesn’t include a right to acquire arms. As Constitutional scholar Edwin Vieira Jr. noted in Kolbe v. Hogan:

“This reliance on a permanent private market for firearms guaranteed that most militiamen, through their own efforts, could always obtain firearms suitable for both collective and individual self-defense, and forestalled tyranny by precluding rogue public officials from monopolizing the production, distribution, and possession of firearms.”

“There is no reason why the identities of gun stores that are the top contributors to gun violence in Baltimore should be kept hidden from the public and from city officials,” Mayor Scott asserted in his press release announcing the joint public/private (i.e., “fascist”) lawsuit.

Of course, there are, and the pre-Dettelbach ATF stood by them:

“BATFE has fought for years in the federal courts to keep trace records confidential, because they contain information (such as names of gun buyers) that could jeopardize ongoing investigations—not to mention law enforcement officers’ lives. For example, a suspected gun trafficker could search publicly released information for names of “straw purchasers” he had used to buy handguns, or for traces requested on guns he had sold. That information could lead him to names of officers, informants and witnesses against his crimes.”

The other “reasons” are self-evident: Prohibitionists want to sue dealers out of business and are utilizing fabricated claims peddled by their complicit media allies to add another ruse to their repertory of rights scams.
They are well aware that if there were truly “bad apple gun dealers” flouting the law, an ATF that ruins livelihoods for ostensible reasons would have them shut down and their inventories and records confiscated in no time. No one has more reason to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s” than a well-audited FFL.

The fact that Baltimore police can launch a trace whenever they find a gun at a crime scene isn’t “good” enough for them because they know that’s not how violent street criminals get their guns.

According to a survey performed by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics of prisoners who “had possessed a weapon throughout their offense:

“Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”

It’s not that licensed dealers are purposefully turning a blind eye in order to bet everything on a terrible sale with poor odds on an obvious risk.

What is unknown and fair to ask (especially since ATF is constantly trying to work around it and moaning about not having a searchable gun purchase database) is how many homicides have been solved with a gun found at the crime scene belonging to its original “legal” purchaser. With all the clamoring for mandatory confiscation-enabling registration, it’d be wonderful to put that into context and consider the value of that ruse.

As previously stated, calls to repeal Tiahrt are not new, and Democrats have demonstrated little objection to bending the law to their advantage.

Back in 2011, I reported on Rep. Adam Schiff attempting to weasel his way “to allow Congressional committees to be included on the list of entities to which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms can disclose part or all of the contents of the Firearms Trace System database” and asked a question that will almost certainly go unanswered:

“How did Sen. Feinstein get ATF gun trace data in violation of [the] Tiahrt Amendment?”

The hunt goes on. It’s not like “progressives” have any novel ideas.

What is clear is that Scott and the city fathers have no plans to reduce violent crime because doing so would entail cracking down on the criminal relatives of their Democrat constituents who keep them in power. We know it, everyone else knows it, and they all know it.

And the point is, if they get this one, they’ll just go on to the next, working their way down the Everytown ban list. Despite denials cloaked in “commonsense” lies, they’re talking about removing your guns. They’re all of them. All you have to do is listen.

But they’ll eat whatever they can get their hands on, one bite at a time.

So they put on these public horse and pony performances, and the media sends naïve “reporters” out to proclaim political frauds taking credit for a temporary drop in this year’s still-horrible homicide rates — as if their policies will do anything except ensure more in the coming years.

They’ll blame your guns if that happens, which it will.

 

 



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