I Feel Safer Already (not)

Ravenwood links to this story of the BATFE running a months-long “investigation” of retired gun collectors being busted for “engaging in the gun business” without a Federal Firearms License – something the BATF purposely doesn’t define. As the article states:

The BATF and its predecessors have always opposed any objective standard of what constitutes an “illicit gun sale” – as opposed to unlicensed buying and selling for the purpose of enhancing a personal collection, which is specifically authorized in the law.

At the 1968 NRA convention in Boston, officials from BATF’s predecessor, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, discussed what constituted “engaging in the firearms business” at a crowded NRA Gun Collectors Committee Meeting.

The Midwest Region ATTU director considered the dividing line six gun sales in a year. The head of Boston ATTU contended two sales made a person a dealer. (That guy later charged a Fall River, Mass. memorial group with failure to register the 16-inch guns on the Battleship Massachusetts.)

Significantly, the ATTU official from Washington declined to give an objective definition, saying “dealing” should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Pardon the hell out of me, but a retired guy selling a few guns each year out of his collection is a far cry from a guy selling guns out of his trunk in downtown Chicago. You can bet your ass the guns these guys were selling weren’t cheap handguns.

This is what pisses me off about the BATF – they spend months and tens of thousands of dollars to build a case, get a warrant, arrest and prosecute the wrong people – because it’s easier to find, charge and prosecute people like this than it is to find the guys who provide guns to VIOLENT CRIMINALS. And with the BATF, it’s all about getting convictions.

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