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The AP Pushes For Federal Gun Registration Law

From the Associated Press:

After gun crime, weapon history takes time to find

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL | January 29, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the fictional world of television police dramas, a few quick clicks on a computer lead investigators to the owner of a gun recovered at a bloody crime scene. Before the first commercial, the TV detectives are on the trail of the suspect.

Reality is a world away. There is no national database of guns. Not of who owns them, how many are sold annually or even how many exist.

In the fictional world of the AP, this is what passes for journalism. When in fact this is just another example of the AP pushing their agenda. In this case, universal gun registration.

Federal law bars the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from keeping track of guns.

A law passed by the representatives of the people in Congress.

The only time the government can track the history of a gun, including its first buyer and seller, is after it’s used in a crime.

It sounds just like the rules for illegal aliens. Which the AP has no trouble with.

And though President Barack Obama and numerous Democratic lawmakers have called for new limits on what kinds of guns should be available to the public and urged stronger background checks in gun sales, there is no effort afoot to change the way the government keeps track — or doesn’t — of where the country’s guns are.

This is simply untrue. Of course there is a push for universal registration. That is exactly what ‘universal background checks’ are all about. They are one and the same.

When police want to trace a gun, it’s a decidedly low-tech process. "It’s not CSI and it’s not a sophisticated computer system," said Charles J. Houser, who runs the ATF’s National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, W. Va.

When police trace a gun, the search starts by sending all the information they have about the gun — including the manufacturer and model — to an office worker in a low-slung brick building just off the Appalachian Trial in rural West Virginia, about 90 miles northwest of Washington.

An office undoubtedly named after the king of pork, Robert Byrd.

ATF officials first call the manufacturer, who reveals which wholesaler the company used. That may lead to a call to a second distributor before investigators can pinpoint the retail gun dealer who first sold the weapon. Gun dealers are required to keep a copy of federal forms that detail who buys what gun and a log for guns sold. They are required to share that information with the ATF if a gun turns up at a crime scene and authorities want it traced. Often, gun shops fax the paperwork to the ATF.

That’s where the paper trail ends.

In about 30 percent of cases, one or all of those folks have gone out of business and ATF tracers are left to sort through potentially thousands of out-of-business records forwarded to the ATF and stored at the office building that more closely resembles a remote call center than a law enforcement operation…

So the AP wants us to think that 30 percent of cases are dropped because of poor records. But five paragraphs later we learn that is not the case:

Last year the center traced about 344,000 guns for 6,000 different law enforcement agencies. Houser has a success rate of about 90 percent, so long as enough information is provided. And he boasts that every successful trace provides at least one lead in a criminal case…

A 90 percent success rate is pretty good, at least by government standards.

Houser said the "manually intensive process" can take about five days for a routine trace. In some cases, completing the trace can mean sifting by hand through paperwork that hasn’t yet been scanned.

In more urgent situations, including the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting in Connecticut last year, ATF agents run a trace within about 24 hours. Oftentimes, that involves sending agents to the gun dealer that first sold the weapon to quickly find the paperwork listing its original buyer.

So it can be done quickly when they want to. In any case, it sounds like they need to improve their system. Not expand it with even more work that won’t get done properly.

Despite having access to millions of records about gun purchases from dealers that have gone out of business, the ATF isn’t allowed to create a database of what guns were sold to whom and when…

And that’s just the way the gun lobby and Congress want it…

You see it is the evil gun lobby stopping federal gun registration. Not the will of the people. And the AP is going to change all that. Even if they have to lie and fearmonger to get it done.

They know what is best for us.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “The AP Pushes For Federal Gun Registration Law”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Why did they run 334,000 gun traces last year, there were far fewer gun crimes that 334,000. Also, most guns use in crimes are either stolen or purchased on the black market, so registering guns to prevent crime would be just a useful as registering crack pipes to cut down on drug crimes.

    • mr_bill says:

      The 334,000 traces were probably the Fast & Furious guns that have turned up at crime scenes in the US & mexico.

  2. wirenut says:

    There you have it folks, poor government and a weak press has lead to more deaths, then legal gun owners.
    Outstanding! Where was the outrage with Fast & Furious, Waco, Ruby Ridge? Get out jail free cards for Bengazi.
    The ones that need to be held accountable, are the ones that do the deeds. I’m smok’in hot on this B.S…..
    If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime. Isn’t crime and terror the same thing?

  3. DW says:

    To gain an idea of what a complete and utter boondoggle this would be, you just need to look north of the border.

    In response to a mass shooting in Montreal in 1989, the Canadian government decided it was going to establish a long-gun registry.
    This was just for hunting rifles and shotguns mind you, as handguns and AR15s, etc were already restricted and registered.

    It was supposed to cost 2 million dollars. After it hit the 1 billion mark (and still climbing) even non gun owners were starting to agree it wasn’t such a good idea.
    I can remember at least one report of their computer crashing and the records of over ten thousand guns was irretrievably lost (as Mark Steyn once pointed out, government computer systems are in no way anywhere near as efficient as those of private corporations like, say, Amazon).

    Conservative Party leader Steven Harper made eliminating the registry one of his campaign promises and when he was voted in with a majority government, he kept that promise; he cancelled the whole registry and had all the records destroyed.
    Apart from the usual suspects, most of the population was OK with him doing that.

    The final cost: 2 billion dollars. Wasted. A thousand times more than the original estimate.
    And that’s in a country with one tenth the population of the US and where handguns and military-type weapons already had their own registry system in place.

    Imagine what this would cost in the US? With, no doubt, the same end result.

  4. wirenut says:

    Just keep paying your “fair” share of taxes people, and shut the f–k-up. Big government has your back.
    Next up: Squirt-guns,Water-balloons and the detrimental effects of useing them. Well, one thing leads to another. Haw! Sarc\off.

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