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Laws make gun trail tracing difficult
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW ^ | September 30, 2007 | Mike Wereschagin

Posted on 10/01/2007 11:18:10 AM PDT by neverdem

A slip of paper stood between Robert Bigi and a gun used in a shooting across the state line in Maryland.

In 1998, Bigi, 70, of Fayette County, sold the semiautomatic pistol. He provided record of the sale to Pennsylvania State Police, as state law requires when a handgun changes hands.

In spring 2005, Bigi received a call from a Cumberland, Md., sheriff's sergeant.

"He says to me, 'Do you own a semiautomatic Makarov pistol?'" said Bigi, a member of Firearm Owners Against Crime.

The pistol had been used in a domestic dispute in Maryland. A gun trace by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turned up Bigi's name.

The paperwork proving Bigi sold the gun never left Pennsylvania. That wasn't an accident. State and federal laws prohibit law enforcement agencies from keeping comprehensive, up-to-date databases of gun owners.

The laws are intended to prevent government officials from knowing what kind and how many guns a person owns. Those same laws require a record of every gun sale to...

--snip--

Tracking guns isn't an effective way to catch criminals, said former Marine Kim Stolfer, firearms instructor and chairman of Firearm Owners Against Crime.

"If those people who address this are asked a question -- prove how this is going to help -- their approach falls apart," Stolfer said. "When you boil it all down, it does not do anything but distract the administration of justice from pursuing the ... criminal. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it, I'm just saying there are" more effective tactics.

Those tactics include making sure prosecutors squeeze the maximum possible sentence from gun crime convictions, and lowering recidivism rates to reduce the number of repeat offenders, Stolfer said.

"The shallowness of addressing the complexity of this problem is sometimes disturbing," Stolfer said.

(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 10/01/2007 11:18:14 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
"If those people who address this are asked a question -- prove how this is going to help -- their approach falls apart," Stolfer said.

That's because they have no interest in solving crimes. They want to get rid of guns and they need a list so the know where to start.

2 posted on 10/01/2007 11:24:27 AM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: neverdem

I don’t know where to start on this.

The ATF traces EVERY crime gun. Do they have to? Probably not. If they confiscated the gun at the crime scene or in the possession of the accused; why trace the gun? The question is only a matter was the gun they have in possession was the gun used in the crime. Ballistics tells us that, not a trace.

If they found the gun at a crime scene but no culprit then a trace is necessary. But how many crimes are committed by people that then leave the gun at the scene? Not very many.


3 posted on 10/01/2007 11:50:32 AM PDT by WBL 1952
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To: neverdem
State and federal laws prohibit law enforcement agencies from keeping comprehensive, up-to-date databases

And if not prohibited, it still wouldn't help. Most are stolen - which, oddly, criminals do not take the time to report the details of what they took & sold on the black market.

4 posted on 10/01/2007 11:54:46 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The color blue tastes like the square root of 0?)
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To: Hazcat
They want to get rid of guns and they need a list so the know where to start

Worked for the Nazis

5 posted on 10/01/2007 12:04:41 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: WBL 1952
If they found the gun at a crime scene but no culprit then a trace is necessary. But how many crimes are committed by people that then leave the gun at the scene? Not very many.

I've participated in some underwater searches for the Pennsylvania State Police. I'm not a police officer, just a diver. We often find 'dumped weapons' in the course of a search. Now there's no proof that the weapon was used in a crime, but the fact that it was pitched into the water is suggestive. The trooper standing at the shoreline will treat the weapon as 'evidence'. I presume that this leads to a 'trace' like the ones described.

BTW, I'm a gun owner & I consider the PSP's database 'illegal', but the PA courts say otherwise.

6 posted on 10/01/2007 12:07:32 PM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: neverdem

ping for later. i’m doing a research project on gun control and public opinion and will be asking freepers for some input at some point. i am sure there is a 2nd amendment group around here. how would i find it?


7 posted on 10/01/2007 12:10:49 PM PDT by thefactor
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To: WBL 1952
If they found the gun at a crime scene but no culprit then a trace is necessary. But how many crimes are committed by people that then leave the gun at the scene? Not very many.

Leave it at the scene? Not that many. Ditch it in a trash can, a ditch, a river or a pond? A bunch.

8 posted on 10/01/2007 12:19:32 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: thefactor
ping for later. i’m doing a research project on gun control and public opinion and will be asking freepers for some input at some point. i am sure there is a 2nd amendment group around here. how would i find it?

Just post a vanity thread asking if you should buy a revolver or a semi-auto for a self-defense gun, and all the 2A types will come flocking.

Also, check the threads with the keyword "banglist".

9 posted on 10/01/2007 12:37:49 PM PDT by Disambiguator (Political Correctness is criminal insanity writ large.)
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To: Tallguy

re: finding guns in rivers, lakes, and dumpsters. Tracing a stolen gun found in these places accomplishes NOTHING.

These guns are test fired and the ballistics checked against other crime bullets and unsolved crimes. If there is a match; THEN the trace could offer some information. But since stolen guns are plentiful it really means nothing.........


10 posted on 10/01/2007 12:39:07 PM PDT by WBL 1952
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To: neverdem

My state doesn’t require documentation of handgun transfers between private citizens, and I try to make all of my purchases from private parties rather than FFL holders. I dread the day when the Democrats incarnation of the SS shows up at my door with a list of guns I’ve purchased, demanding they be surrendered.


11 posted on 10/01/2007 12:40:26 PM PDT by Spok
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To: Disambiguator
lol. yeah i had planned to do a vanity. i need some graphics that i have seen on many threads about gun laws/ownership, etc...

the pretty graphics of a map of the US where the colors of the states change due to changes in gun laws. those are always good conversation starters.

12 posted on 10/01/2007 12:53:02 PM PDT by thefactor
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To: Tallguy
'Dumped' into the water is not always the case. I had a .357 in a bag and it was bumped off the dock into 20' of water, obviously sank like an anchor. At that minor depth I wasnt able to retreive it, and this was midsummer and I KNEW where it was.

Fortunately, one of the locals was able to reach it and it was secured.

Im sure many are dumped, but many are carelessly lost, and those 'evidence' guns probably wind up in leo gun cabinets...

13 posted on 10/01/2007 1:02:03 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (A few Rams must look after the sheep 'til the Good Shepherd returns...)
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To: thefactor; neverdem

Only one opinion on gun control laws......criminals do not follow laws so why is a law needed for the law abiding citizen. Considering the liberal diversion of guilt that blames all criminal activity on _____________(fill in the blank) vs simple punishment of the criminal.

Stay safe !


14 posted on 10/01/2007 2:13:26 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Puppage
Worked for the Nazis

Not for long. Though I don't think there's anyone today willing to stand up against Nazi behavior.

15 posted on 10/01/2007 5:11:57 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: thefactor

Bookmark the bang list.
Bang list here:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=banglist


16 posted on 10/01/2007 6:22:28 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Hunter '08)
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To: Puppage

It’s working pretty well in Myanmar today as well.

Notice how easily the military shot down those pesky (but unarmed) freedom protestors?


17 posted on 10/01/2007 8:40:08 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Still Thinking
Not for long

Yeah, only enough time for 6 million murders.

18 posted on 10/02/2007 4:58:33 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: neverdem

Creating and maintaining a huge database of all the guns and all the gun sales would take an enormous amount of energy and money.

And most criminals would be able to avoid it.

It would take resources AWAY from crime-fighting and instead create a huge registry of LEGAL gun owners.


19 posted on 10/02/2007 8:50:50 AM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: WBL 1952
But how many crimes are committed by people that then leave the gun at the scene? Not very many.

Actually quite a few, at least crimes where there is shooting, especially if someone is hit and even more especially if they are killed. Even criminals know about ballistics, so they ditch the gun. Not at the scene of case, but often not so very far away either. Sometimes the guns are found, ballistics matches them to the crime, and then the trace locates the person the gun was last sold to, if the sale was through a dealer. If not through a dealer then the last sale that was. Then they have to trace through the private sales, if they can.

Of course most guns used in such crimes are stolen and so all the trace does is find the victim of the theft.

Thus traces are not really all that useful in solving crimes, but for a somewhat different reason than you've indicated, although that's a factor too.

20 posted on 10/02/2007 9:08:08 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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