December 18, 2006

Bloomberg Behind Entrapment?

Glenn Reynolds linked to the following from NRA News:

There's someone out there telling folks to buy guns illegally, and I think it's time we put a stop to it. He's directing contract employees to walk into gun stores, lie on the paperwork about who's buying the gun, and walk out after making a straw purchase.

Even worse, he's bragging about what he's doing. He's holding press conferences to tell the world about what he's done, but so far law enforcement doesn't seem to be listening.

Well, I think it's time we help out the ATF agents that enforce our nation's gun laws. We need to call their Illegal Gun Hotline at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (that's 1-800-283-4867) and alert them to this illegal firearms activity. Tell them that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hiring private investigators to initiate straw purchases in several states, and you want them to enforce the law.

Oh, I know Bloomberg says he wants to rid New York's streets of illegal guns. But he's not asking for help from local law enforcement agents. He's not asking for the help of the ATF. He's not even using his own police department.

Bloomberg is using his own private army of investigators to lie on the paperwork in order to sue the small business gun dealers, alleging that they're to blame for the lies they've been told. And once he sues, he offers the trapped gun dealers a devil's bargain: Give Bloomberg all of your business documents, and the lawsuit goes away.

Unless the law works differently in New York City than it does elsewhere, it appears that Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be involved in a criminal conspiracy to break federal firearms laws.

Strawman purchases—roughly defined as someone legally allowed to purchase a firearm illegally acting to purchase a firearm for someone not legally allowed to own a weapon—is a felony. At the sporting good store where I work, we have multiple notices posted for customers letting them know that such a sale can lead to up to ten years in jail and a substantial fine, and they are not the only people at risk.

Gun store owners and employees are extremely aware of the threat that illegal purchases pose to not just their industry, but their own immediate welfare. Knowingly selling a gun to someone we suspect may be a strawman is also a crime.

As a result, most gun store employees interrogate potential purchasers to a certain degree to attempt to determine if the potential gun purchaser is indeed attempting to purchase a firearm for himself. If we suspect that something might be fishy with the buyer, we have a right to stop the transaction from occurring, even when the federal government, through the FBI’s NICS Operations Center, verifies that the purchaser is indeed himself legally allowed to own a gun.

The problem is that Mayor Bloomberg's investigators likely know every nuance of the law, just as they know the tricks of the trade dealers use to expose potential strawman purchasers from legitimate purchasers. To initiate lawsuits against small gun store owners, it seems quite likely that Mayor Bloomberg and his investigators may have initiated a felonious conspiracy, committing fraud in order to set up my layman’s understanding of entrapment.

If any lawyers would like to comment on this, I'd be very interested to see if these gun shop owners targeted by Bloomberg have any criminal or civil recourse against the Mayor, his investigators, and the City of New York.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 18, 2006 11:39 AM | TrackBack

it appears that Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be involved in a criminal conspiracy to break federal firearms laws.

Yep. Anyone who lies on a 4473 is guilty of a Federal felony. Last time I checked, lying on that form was good for a year at Club Fed.

I look forward to a bunch of asshats being led off in bracelets when a savy FFL stalls them and calls the cops.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 18, 2006 04:23 PM

Your trackbacks are broken.

Doing it the hard way

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 18, 2006 04:47 PM

please tell us when the first charges are filed.

Posted by: oh at December 18, 2006 11:53 PM

What's the difference between what Bloomberg's private detectives are doing at gun shops, and teenagers getting some old rummy to buy booze for them at the ABC store? It still involves a conspiracy perpetrated by the individuals involved, and I don't see how the seller is liable.

Posted by: Tom TB at December 19, 2006 03:42 PM

...and teenagers getting some old rummy to buy booze for them at the ABC store?

Read the 4473 form at the link I posted and you'll know the answer to this question.

Do the words "Federal felony" mean anything to you?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 19, 2006 10:27 PM

Purple Avenger, I was using humor to illustrate a point; Mayor Bloomberg is a control freak and will go to any lengths to get his way, whether it's using specious data of lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke to stop smoking in bars and restaurants, or to send paid operatives to commit fraud to shake-down gun dealers who operate out the reach of his 37,000+ member Police department. For a guy who says "I don't know why anyone would want to own a gun.", he's always surrounded by an armed army!

Posted by: Tom TB at December 20, 2006 08:51 AM