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Gun Culture Rifles

ATF Gives High, Tight Trim to Criminals

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  July 12th, 2013 3

We are often critical of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the BATFE often deserves it. Its lowlight roll ranges from Waco to Fast & Furious, with botched investigations, political prosecutions and false testimony all along the way.

But when the agency does what it should be doing, fairness dictates we take note of it and give credit where due.

In what appears to be a clever move, ATF bought a barbershop in a blighted neighborhood of Detroit and put the word out that guns could be sold there.


Soon the haircut shop was thronged with sellers, many of them retrieving long guns from the baggy pants popular in the ‘hood.

The sting brought in dozens of illegal guns, mostly stolen, and stiff charges for their enterprising sellers, mostly career criminals.

Now, we may yet find out that ATF somehow  bollixed this one, too. But it looks like the sort of operation we’d like the feds to be doing—nabbing actual criminals committing actual crimes.  This in contrast to enmeshing gun dealers in paperwork violations or letting thousands of guns be illegally exported to Mexico.

We all know that politics and law enforcement are, and should be, entwined. What we choose to make illegal or not is part of how we define our society, and that’s a political process. If it weren’t political, we could program computers to be cops, prosecutors, judges and juries.

Given the sources of ATF’s political support in Congress, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the agency feels the need to balance efforts like the Detroit sting, which target black urban criminals, with prosecutions like the one against the gun dealer Reese family of Deming, N.M., that target rural white folks.

Gun owners applaud the former and condemn the latter, and it’s very easy for our opponents, in today’s debased climate of debate, to chalk that up to racism. Saying that a small-town gun dealer making a paperwork error is the equivalent of a convicted criminal walking down the streets of Detroit with a Hi-Point carbine in his trousers takes the special ability at mental gymnastics so many antis manifest.

So let’s give one cautious thumbs-up to the BATFE. This is what we actually want them to be doing.

  • TopCat_Texas

    Good story, maybe if we give ATF credit when they do something right the good officers will get promoted to leadership positions.

    • Drdetroitdanchap

      NOPE. They’ll get fired.

  • dragon5126

    Here in Milwaukee Wi. we had a gun shop that sold more hand guns than the rest combined. The reason being they were the only one in the count with a range, and try before you buy is a major motivator. This also meant that they sold the most handguns that were stolen or resold. BUT The Milwaukee anti gun Mayor and Police Chief INSISTED they were actively promoting Straw sales. Two Milwaukee Cops who were shot by handguns traced to the store filed suit against the owner despite federal law protecting firearms dealers from such lawsuits. It seems the Anti-gun people can have their way no matter what the law states. I was a regular customer at this shop, and have seen them “drop the dime” numerous times on straw purchases. It got to be that I got to know the agents on sight. When they had time, they spent it at the counter, checking out the guns and accessories, talking with the staff and customers, and in general being typical gun guys. We do need to remember that in general, it isn’t the agents that are the issue its their superiors who call the shots. And when morons like the two local democrats here in Milwaukee raise enough hell the bureaucrats in the alphabet agencies do their biding. The Shop lost it’s FFL, and later reopened under new ownership. But in the end the facts never mattered, just the bullying by the anti gun left. And this is the way it has always been since the left rose to power through deceit and criminal action in 63

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