We have gun laws, but in some places they are not being enforced

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just walk into a gun store and buy a firearm like you would a loaf of bread. At a minimum, you fill out a federally mandated form and a phone call is made to (usually) state authorities to complete a background check.

There are times where background checks may not be correct. There are times where purchasers might lie on the Firearms Transaction Record, a.k.a. Form 4473, which in part reads…

I understand that a person who answers “yes” to any of the questions 11.b through 11.k is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm … I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under federal law.

So you would think if gun dealers or state law enforcement found out someone lied on a 4473 and/or eventually failed the mandated background check, the ATF would be interested in contacting that person or persons and take the firearm from them.

Not so much in northern Nevada. From the Reno Gazette-Journal.

More than three dozen people in Northern Nevada purchased firearms and kept them despite failing their background checks because the Reno office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives no longer has agents to retrieve those weapons, a Reno Gazette-Journal investigation found.

ATF agents are responsible for taking guns away from people who buy firearms but are later found to have something in their criminal history that prohibits them from owning a weapon. But when the Reno U.S. Attorney’s office told local ATF agents in a September 2011 letter that they would not prosecute their cases until unnamed “issues” were resolved, most of the agents transferred to new posts.

So there is some sort of “dust-up” between prosecutors and agents resulting in people purchasing and owning guns when they are federally unable to do so. Great.

ATF Special Agent Vince Cefalu, a whistleblower in the botched Justice Department Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, said one of ATF’s duties is to collect guns from people who fail the background checks, “but because of the rift with the federal prosecutors in Reno, there are no agents there to retrieve those weapons and there would be no hope of prosecution if they arrested the person.

What’s being done? From Big Government

Three Congressmen, including Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), have demanded answers from the US Attorney’s office, the ATF office, head of the ATF, and Attorney General Eric Holder. No one has responded to their requests.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. stinkfoot on November 24, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Perhaps ATF agents are ordering some states not to enforce their laws- so that a crisis can be manufactured to justify changing or abolishing the second amendment.

  2. Lynn on November 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Now really, expecting an answer from Eric Holder? He is the New Untouchable.

  3. JBS on November 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

    This is a sore subject with me. I held an FFL for twelve years. (The big stores are snuffing out the individual licensee.) In this age of computerized records checks, mistakes will happen. The BATFE is supposed? to be the safety check for any illegal sales. Buyers are supposed to be law abiding citizens.
    The reality is that some sales are illegal and firearms wind up in the wrong hands; there is a transfer of guns to inappropriate individuals or, at worst, criminals. When the government controls the transactions, they can direct firearms be sold to the wrong people by O.K.-ing otherwise criminal purchases. For example: The BATFE can approve purchases for their purposes, such as a wider investigation. Another Fast and Furious type situation. Or, another Waco in northern Nevada? Manufactured for a nefarious — liberal — political agenda?
    We all know that the BATFE has, and continues to be, used as a political attack dog.

  4. SeeingRed on November 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

    From BATFE: The budget request for FY 2011 totals $1,163 million, which is a 3.8 percent increase from the FY 2010 Enacted level.

    I guess $1.163billion isn’t enough to keep Reno populated with live agents.?

  5. PatRiot on November 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    The 3 congressmen can demand answers all days long and never accomplish a thing.? It is all about appearace and not about actually doing anything about the problem. And these 3 congressmen don’t care about a solution, just the press to say they tried to do something.
    – The FAA is supposed track down radio interference?but they are not staffed to accomplish that.
    – The national do not call effort is a joke as well.? It should automatically track down and fine abusers.? By the repeat calls I get,?that is’t happening.
    – Christmas Tree shops patent infringe all the time and get a copy product out of China to undersell the competition.? They get hit with the same $10,000 fine (and nothing bigger) time and time again with?no substantive action against them.?
    – John McCain has been in Congress for 20+ years and has not solved the illegal immigration problem.?
    “I feel your pain.? Let me through your?taxpayer money to fix it.? I will pretend to fix it.? Go back to sleep my good little sheeple.”
    The original intent of a functioning government is still sound.? It is the appalling amount of operator error that ruins it for all of us.


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