OMG!!! 7,000 mistakes!

They’re Not Asking the Right Questions

James at Hell in a Handbasket notes the story that 7,000 people not allowed to purchase guns did so in 2002 and 2003.

James writes

But why would people prohibited from owning a gun try to buy one in the first place? It’s a crime for them to even try, punishable for up tyo 4 years in a Federal pen.

The news story admits that prohibited people (usually criminals, I’d say) tried to acquire guns 122,000 times in the same 2 year period. Even though this is a felony, and the Feds have a record of the crime, they only actually brought charges 154 times.

154 arrests out of 122,000 felonies. No wonder the criminals are trying to buy guns at legal gun shops. They might as well, there’s no penalty of they get caught at it.

In my humble opinion, all 7,000 should be vigorously prosecuted and sentenced. Don’t complain that more gun control is needed when the current gun control isn’t enforced. It’s that same old argument — Those that follow the law will suffer, and those that don’t (not coincidentally those that are the problem) will not suffer. Never mind the availability of black market weapons. If they keep trying at a legal gun shop, they’re bound to get through sooner or later.

By the way, the numbers in the story indicate that the present background check system works 99.958% of the time. And that’s without really enforcing the penalties for wrongdoers.

Go read James’ whole post.

UPDATE: James comments that it shouldn’t be the 7,000 who are “vigorously prosecuted and sentenced”, but all 122,000 who tried to buy, since they are clearly violating the law. He’s right.


  1. ‘In my humble opinion, all 7,000 should be vigorously prosecuted and sentenced. I think that all 122,000 should be prosecuted and sentenced. Don’t forget, it’s not just a felony if a convicted felon actually acquires a gun. It’s a felony if he even tries! The 7,000 people who illegally acquired a gun were just the guys who managed to slip through the cracks. So we have 122,000 felonies on record and the BATF arrested 154 people. Not 100,000 people, not 50,000 people, just 154 . Something’s seriously wrong, here. James