Gun-Grabber Gripes about ATF Tracing a Feint for Registration and More

U.S.A. – -( “On television, when a perpetrator leaves a gun at the scene, a quick computer search can point law enforcement to the weapon’s owner,” an August 6 promotion piece for one in a series of “gun control” videos being “curated” by The Atlantic. “In reality—at least in the United States—no such database of firearms exists.”

Thank goodness one doesn’t. That’s prohibited by law to prevent a government that increasingly comes up with “creative” edicts to confiscate arms without due process and, significantly, without Constitutional authority. But resurrected complaints about not being able to do that to all of us are once again making headlines in order to swindle a public that for the most part doesn’t know any better out of its birthright. Examples over recent years from the usual suspects include:

  • How the N.R.A. Keeps Federal Gun Regulators in Check
  • The ATF’s Nonsensical Non-Searchable Gun Databases
  • The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced: NPR
  • Let the ATF’s Firearms Tracing Center Do its Job – Bloomberg
  • How the NRA Hobbled the ATF – Mother Jones

You get the drift. The gun-grabbers want to make it easy to find out who has what to help them reach the bottom of Nancy Pelosi’s slippery slope.

Supplementing that, getting trace data released has been a goal of billionaire gun-grabber Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown, which filed suit in 2015.  As usual, their high-sounding goals mask the underhanded motive of abusing data to “name and shame” and close down gun dealers and manufacturers ATF has not found cause to shutter.

Left unsaid (in blaming their inability at circumventing the law on NRA and “the gun lobby”) is the inconvenient truth that even ATF and the Fraternal Order of Police support the Tiahrt Amendment, limiting the release of specific tracing data to law enforcement investigations and prosecutions. The Bureau has “fought for years in the federal courts to keep trace records confidential because they contain information (such as names of gun buyers) that could jeopardize ongoing investigations—not to mention law enforcement officers’ lives.”

Also left unsaid in all this “urgent need” for high-speed data are two other inconvenient truths:

The national time-to-crime average is 9.3 years. That and ATF puts an important disclaimer in all of its state reports:

“Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.”

That makes it fair to ask – and expect answers to – how many cases are solved based on traces. How many perpetrators have been convicted that would otherwise not have been had ATF not identified a name gleaned from a retailer’s 4473 copy? Intuitively, if you catch the perp, it would seem you’ve solved the case. Ditto, what percentage of guns found at the scene trace back to the “retail purchaser” who is either guilty or able to provide a useful lead to who is? Factoring in the costs of these operations, how much does that work out to per solved crime?

The other information I’d like to see is if, after all the effort and expense, there is any real-world validation of the agent’s claim in the video that “We’re actually doing something here that might save a life.”

“Might”? Has it happened before? How many times? How effective has tracing proven to be in producing that outcome?

It’s not a question of putting a price on human lives, but one of assessing if resources placed elsewhere, or if a reduction in infringements, might actually save more lives. Instead, without even considering those questions, the push is on once more to spend untold funding on a database system to identify all “law-abiding” gun owners and tell authorities exactly what it is they have.

The motive is obviously not to save lives, that’s just the line the citizen disarmament swindlers use in their long con to draw in the ignorant, the gullible and the stupid. The reason is to enable confiscation as the “red flag” net tightens, “universal background checks” subject more names and property to enforcement scrutiny and new gun bans take effect.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.