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Posted: 6/10/2002 4:13:50 PM EDT
[url]http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/local_news/article/0,1406,KNS_347_1193534,00.html[/url]
Illegal firearms sales alleged By Jamie Satterfield, News-Sentinel staff writer June 7, 2002 They are gray-haired men, from middle age to seniors. They are unsophisticated and largely uneducated. They are, the government alleges, East Tennessee gun traffickers, responsible for putting weapons in the hands of convicted felons, out-of-state residents and people who wanted to leave no trace of their gun purchases. Eight men appeared in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Thursday after authorities began a roundup earlier that morning of accused gun traffickers named in secret indictments handed down by a federal grand jury. By Thursday afternoon, 23 people identified in 20 separate indictments had been arrested. The accused hailed from East Tennessee towns like Newport, Lenoir City, Cosby, Louisville, Cleveland and Tellico Plains, with the exception of two men from western North Carolina. The eight men who were arraigned in Knoxville were typical of the entire group: mostly older men who were high school dropouts, according to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge James M. Cavanaugh. "You have some persons over 60," Cavanaugh said. The oldest of the eight defendants making a court appearance Thursday was 71. He had a fourth-grade education. ATF agents spent one year gathering the evidence used to convince a grand jury to issue the indictments, Cavanaugh said. In that operation ATF agents bought over 600 guns. Deals were struck at flea markets, gun shops and inside homes, Cavanaugh said. Another 1,000 guns were seized as the agents executed 18 search warrants in Tennessee and North Carolina, he said. Of the 23 people accused of selling guns, only four were licensed dealers. However, those four are accused of knowingly violating the laws on selling guns by failing to conduct background checks, selling to out-of-state residents or failing to properly document gun purchases. The remaining defendants all are charged with selling guns without a license. Most of those defendants sold weapons to people they "knew or had reasonable cause to believe" were convicted felons or out-of-state residents. At least one defendant was himself unable to legally purchase a gun because he has a domestic violence conviction, but indictments allege he bought more than a dozen guns shipped to him from another state. Cavanaugh said Tennessee is considered a "source state" for guns for criminals who live in parts of the country where weapons laws are stricter. Last year more than 1,600 guns seized by police in Tennessee had been used in the commission of crime.
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(cont.)
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:14:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 4:15:22 PM EDT by Rescue35]
"We were led to this case by guns in crime," Cavanaugh said, explaining how ATF's trail of seized guns revealed "patterns and trends" of where and from whom the weapons were being obtained. "The illegal trafficking of firearms is the fuel that is spreading violence," he said. "We can't make neighborhoods safe across America unless we stop the black market sale of firearms." Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Winck said the penalties for the 23 alleged gun traffickers range from one to 10 years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines on each charge. Some defendants face as many as 15 charges in a single indictment. Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308 or Satterfield@knews.com.
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Since when are private transfers illegal in TN? IIRC you dont have to run a BG check on private sales. Boy am I happy I just got out of that state. R35
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:21:08 PM EDT
Hey, a man's gotta make a living. [:D] Stepped-init
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:26:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rescue35: Since when are private transfers illegal in TN? IIRC you dont have to run a BG check on private sales.
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Depends. Were these guys selling guns to known criminals who were obviously intending to use the guns for more crimes? If so, hang 'em. If they were legitimate private sellers who were simply trading guns around, then ATF should be the ones to hang. ATF doesn't have a good record in this regard. Around 1991-ish, ATF was working with a gunshop in Virginia, and had told the gunshop to sell to anyone so that ATF could track the (known felon) buyers. ATF didn't bother to do their followups, though, and so after a few months they went after the gunshop owners for selling to known felons.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:34:06 PM EDT
Gee, that whole long article, and I didn't see the word "Militia" once...Amazing.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:36:18 PM EDT
If they were legitimate private sellers who were simply trading guns around, then ATF should be the ones to hang.
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Personally I believe that is one of the major problems with the SS ... I mean ATF. No one is minding the barn, these guys do what they want to whom they want, when they want and there are little or no reprecussions when they screw up. Ryan
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:41:59 PM EDT
ATF doesn't have a good record in this regard. Around 1991-ish, ATF was working with a gunshop in Virginia, and had told the gunshop to sell to anyone so that ATF could track the (known felon) buyers. ATF didn't bother to do their followups, though, and so after a few months they went after the gunshop owners for selling to known felons.
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Where? When? Who? Details man, details! Email me off board if you want. PGP or otherwise.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:52:24 PM EDT
knowingly violating the laws on selling guns by failing to conduct background checks
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OK, how do us peons conduct background checks? Only dealers can use NICS. Don't you love it when you're charged for not doing something you simply can't do?
failing to properly document gun purchases.
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I have never seen any reference to any law that requires an individual to "properly" document gun purchases. What are they talking about? I've never even seen a dealer give-out a receipt.z
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 5:13:49 PM EDT
Cavanaugh said Tennessee is considered a "source state" for guns for criminals who live in parts of the country where weapons laws are stricter. Last year more than 1,600 guns seized by police in Tennessee had been used in the commission of crime.
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This is my favorite part. So...because so many guns are bought in TN to be used in crimes elsewhere.....they post a statistic that says "1600 guns seized IN TN where used in crimes". How does that relate to trafficing them out of state? The logic hurts my wittle head. R35
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:16:54 PM EDT
I know you can sell a gun to someone else in the state that you live in but doesn't it become a legal problem if you selling many firearms or doing straw purchases? Anyone know?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:25:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
Originally Posted By Rescue35: Since when are private transfers illegal in TN? IIRC you dont have to run a BG check on private sales.
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Depends. Were these guys selling guns to known criminals who were obviously intending to use the guns for more crimes? If so, hang 'em. If they were legitimate private sellers who were simply trading guns around, then ATF should be the ones to hang. ATF doesn't have a good record in this regard. Around 1991-ish, ATF was working with a gunshop in Virginia, and had told the gunshop to sell to anyone so that ATF could track the (known felon) buyers. ATF didn't bother to do their followups, though, and so after a few months they went after the gunshop owners for selling to known felons.
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I would think this would be a dead ringer for an entrapment defense. Anybody instructing you to break the law is full of crap. There had to be more to that story.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:26:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 6:44:24 PM EDT by 71-Hour_Achmed]
Originally Posted By Slacker:
ATF doesn't have a good record in this regard. Around 1991-ish, ATF was working with a gunshop in Virginia, and had told the gunshop to sell to anyone so that ATF could track the (known felon) buyers. ATF didn't bother to do their followups, though, and so after a few months they went after the gunshop owners for selling to known felons.
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Where? When? Who? Details man, details! Email me off board if you want. PGP or otherwise.
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Man, it's been over a decade, and you expect me to remember details?? I can't even remember what I had for lunch yesterday! It would have been reported in the Washington Times between July 1992 and June 1993. The gun shop was somewhere in Virginia (probably NoVa), and the guns were supposedly being driven up to NYC for resale "on the street". The gunshop was owned by an older couple. ATF was supposedly investigating sales of multiple handguns to a single buyer, and they were expected to follow the buyers up to NYC for a sting -- instead, they let the buyers and the guns go, and went after the gunshop owners. That's all I gots, I ain't gots no more. You might contact the VCDL to see if anyone there remembers the case, or maybe the Maryland gun rights people. Or if the Washington Times has their archives in an electronically searchable format that far back. . . . They do. But their longterm archive costs $2 per article, and so far, the first-paragraph excerpts don't have anything specifically related to what I remember. Looks like this was the period when "one gun a month" was the hot topic, and Wilder was pulling out all the stops to demonize the purchase of multiple handguns.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:20:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:40:10 PM EDT
After exceeding some number of private sales per year/month/other time unit, don't you become an unlicensed dealer?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:51:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By prk: After exceeding some number of private sales per year/month/other time unit, don't you become an unlicensed dealer?
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SUPPOSEDLY there is no record kept of an individuals gun sales. (I don't see how there could be a record of private party, same state sales.)
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:10:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:23:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By prk: After exceeding some number of private sales per year/month/other time unit, don't you become an unlicensed dealer?
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There is no arbitrary number that determines this. It is a true Catch-22. We are allowed to sell an "occasional" personal firearm or firearms, even at gun shows, but if ATF decides you have crossed some invisible, to-be-determined-at-their-discretion line, then you are an "unlicensed dealer," and subject to arrest. On the other hand, since 1994, at the serious behest of the Clinton Regime, small-time "kitchen table" dealers (low volume dealers) have been ruthlessly run out of business and strongly discouraged from existing, through the federal enforcement of local zoning laws (even if NOT enforced locally) and another "invisible" quota of "how many firearms did you obtain using your license in the past 3 years and how many firearms did you dispose of in the last three years." If you have a license you must "make a profit" and NOT have it primarily to further your own collection. BUT, wheel-and-deal without a license to further your collection and you are "dealing without a license." Got it? It is all nebulous, subjective, and not codified into law, thus making it impossible to deliberately obey, and easy to be used against us. Good luck! [whacko]
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This world gets crazier all the time. I don't know of any agency where more emphasis exists on "positions" and "opinion" and "that's the way we interpret it - want to risk a federal prosecution", than ATF (Though the IRS probably tries to keep up with them). It seems to me that there should be congressional oversight hearings on this issue alone. Why, if the FDA has to go through complex formalities to issue regulations on what can be called "barbeque", can the ATF just make up their minds based, if we're lucky, on an attorney's opinion, or if we're unlucky, on simply some unnamed bureaucrat's opinion? Seems to me that there is a separation of powers issue here.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:52:40 PM EDT
thsi smells to me as an easy way to set a precedent.. Agent John Doe was charged and convicted of "illegal" selling.. Bam! now the ATF will make evry state reguire the evry seel go thru a FFL like some states already do... sayins: look we didnt allow our "own" people to do this .. we sure as hell are let letting JOhn Q Public do it... then down the road the Agent involed in this "incedent" will be "quietly" overturned of any convictions....then being promoted for thier "bravery" ATF SOP. by this time all privite transers have been outlawed.and no politition will dare revoke the new carpfull law. Clusters' .223 cents.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:00:51 PM EDT
It is one thing to sell a gun in good faith to a private individual, quite a different thing to make a living knowingly fencing firearms to shady characters. Hang them high! Unfortunately the "gun culture" attracts some of the best, but also some of the worst, people in society.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 10:56:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By prk: After exceeding some number of private sales per year/month/other time unit, don't you become an unlicensed dealer?
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A BATF agent told me that one became a "dealer" when one started "making a living out of it". If one sold one gun & made $50,000 on it, I suppose one was "making a living". Selling 20 all weekend & making $20 each is NOT "making a living" on it.
Link Posted: 6/11/2002 1:26:32 AM EDT
What I don't understand is why they just didn't call in the FBI to burn them out. [rolleyes]
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