Are you a law-abiding gun-owner thinking of picking up a new rifle at Wal-Mart? Forget it. The retailer has unveiled a new tracking and reporting system to satisfy NYC Mayor Michael Nanny Bloomberg and the gun-grabbers’ coalition:
A coalition of mayors in favor of gun control, led by Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Thomas M. Menino of Boston, said on Monday that it had reached a 10-point agreement with Wal-Mart, the country’s largest seller of guns, to track the sale of firearms more closely.
The agreement between Wal-Mart and the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which Mr. Bloomberg helped to organize in 2006, calls for turning a more watchful eye on firearm sales, including videotaping sales of guns and conducting criminal background checks on store clerks who handle guns.
It also calls for keeping a record each time the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives links a gun bought at Wal-Mart to a crime. If a person who buys a gun linked to a crime were to return to a Wal-Mart to buy another gun, the purchase would be flagged. It would then be up to the store whether to permit the purchase.
When fully put into effect, the agreement would also prohibit the sale of a gun to someone whose background check comes back with inconclusive results. In many states, people are permitted to buy firearms even if a background check comes back with inconclusive results.
“This would be good politics to get behind,” Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference in Washington with other mayors from across the country. “Hopefully it doesn’t take that as a consideration to get you to do the right thing. But if nothing else, the public wants to stop the craziness of letting people who are criminals get guns.”
Nanny Bloomberg is right about one thing. This is all about politics. And nothing else. Pointless Kabuki gun control.
As Bob Owens points out, the agreement “will have very little significant in impacting the flow of guns into criminal hands:”
Criminals prefer firearms that are concealable, well-made, and of large caliber, but will settle for concealable, and handguns tend to fill that need. According to government statistics, rifles are used in just 3-percent of murders, and shotguns just 5-percent.
Of the “top ten” most commonly traced firearms in crimes (according to that same government report), seven are cheaply-made, small-caliber handguns, two are ubiquitous 9mm service pistols common among police, civilian shooters, and criminals, and just one is a long-arm of any kind.
Wal-Mart does not sell handguns, stocking only rifles and shotguns, and therefore this agreement, while somewhat interesting from the point of view of speculating why the retail giant might capitulate to Bloomberg’s wishes (trying to get into the City where they haven’t previously been allowed, no doubt), will have virtually no discernible impact in fighting gun crime.
The NRA weighs in:
“I view it as a public relations stunt that stigmatizes law-abiding firearms purchasers exercising their freedom under the Constitution,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. He said that if politicians were serious about reducing gun crime they would worry less about legal sellers and buyers and get tougher criminal sentences for illegal gun dealers.
“I honestly think it’s a corporation trying to curry favor with politicians as opposed to doing anything meaningful about stopping crime,” said LaPierre.