Once upon a time there were three politicians who were very anti-gun. One was from the volcanic state of Hawaii, one from the Chesapeake Bay state of Maryland and the last from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts. Let’s call them the “Gang of 3.” They got together and came up with a plan to discredit gun dealers. You can almost see them stirring a giant caldron in a darkened room. They have been trying to tell the American people that firearms and especially “assault” weapons should be banned. Their plan of targeting one gun at a time to finally eliminate all gun ownership has not gone well. If they could get around gun owners and get to the source, then maybe they could possibly break the chain of supply. If not, they could at least discredit Internet gun sales. Now they hatched a plot, and with a little luck and a survey, they could at least cripple sales of these guns.
By proving guns are being sold illegally on the Internet they would have a great point to stand on during a debate and while running for re-election. They can still use the “no background check loophole” gospel they have been spouting for years with proof it’s really happening. All they would have to do is could catch one gun dealer selling guns on the Internet illegally. So they got in touch with a government agency to carry out their dark plan. The agency was commissioned to find gun dealers illegally selling firearms online.
Months go by and nothing. More months go by and still nothing. Finally the agency sends them a report and they collectively drop their jaws. There goes the no background check loophole. The ’Gang of 3″ quietly dismissed the findings of the massive report and decided not to go public. After all you can’t let the American people know your hunch and plan was very, very wrong.
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Although it may have not played out like my fairy tale, this is not scuttlebutt from the local rod & gun club or something that is circulating on Facebook and other so called media sources. Here’s what really happened.
The agency that really did this study is the Government Accountably Office and the politicians that cooked up the plot are Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as well as and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii and our own Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the biggest anti gun “Gang of 3” in Washington D.C.
The Washington Free Beacon reported, “Between July 2015 and November 2017 investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), following up on a congressional request, tried to make the illegal private gun purchases through a number of online forums and market places. They made 72 attempts over that time but couldn’t complete a single sale using legitimate sites.”
The study called “INTERNET FIREARM SALES, ATF Enforcement Efforts and Outcomes of GAO Covert Testing” went south because the legitimate gun dealers refused to sell to the fake “buyers.” The “buyers” tried to purchase a firearm online. Buying a firearm from out of state and online is perfectly legal as long as it is sent, in our case, to a dealer in Massachusetts. At that point you have to get cleared with a background check before you take possession. If there is any reason that you can not own a firearm, the transfer is stopped by the Massachusetts dealer.
The “Buyer ” let the out of state seller know at the last minute or so it seems that he had some kind of reason that he couldn’t own a firearm. Of the larger group of dealers that turned out to be legitimate, 56 turned down the sale, 29 simply wouldn’t ship the items ordered and 27 wouldn’t close the deal when they found the buyers were prohibited from purchasing firearms. So depending on how you look at it, so much for the sting or study.
There were also other possible sales that went south. These people however turned out not to be gun dealers and the GAO determined they were scam artist working the Internet. In fact they sent money to one so called so called dealers and never saw it again. The rest of the list of 72 were scam artist and never had a gun for sale.
When I found out about this report a few months ago, I called Elizabeth Warren’s office in Boston for a statement. I wanted to get Warren’s side of the story. Her staff acted like they never heard of the study or her. I made a second phone call and got nowhere. A third call was made and I asked if the press secretary could return a call. Nothing. Months later, while writing this piece I tried to get in touch again after reading the GAO’s final report. I asked for the name of her press secretary and was once again left out in the cold.
On Thursday of this week I made my final call to Warren’s office in Washington D.C. I was sent to the voice mail of a staffer and left a message. We finally connected later that day. I told him I was looking for a statement about this GAO report and had a Saturday morning deadline. I never heard back from him. We pay these people to represent us and yet they act like they are so above us that they don’t feel the need to answer questions or justify what they do.
By all means, please read this report and see how elected officials tried to weaponize a government agency against legal gun owners and dealers. The full report with all the details can be found at the Government Accounting Office website at https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/688535.pdf. It’s has over 20 pages of information.
One of the dangers here is if a politician has an axe to grind with a person or group of people or a business or agency, they are free to request a “study” to look into anything they want. The study could be nothing or blow up and now a person or business, innocent or guilty, has to defend themselves against the resources of the U.S. government.
Here’s another other point. This study took over two years to complete. It cost plenty of money to do these kinds of government studies. You could say the agency is in place to do these investigations but where do the funds come from? The money comes from your hard earned wages that are taxed. That means the “Gang of 3” used your money to attempt to hurt your rights as a firearm owner. Even if you don’t own or have an opinion on guns, they dug into your pockets. How many other studies have been done and quietly tucked away? Makes me wonder what else they have dreamed up while stirring their caldron.