The Empire Page conducted a poll on the question of whether to continue an expensive government program that obtains ballistic identification information on every handgun sold in NYS. 95% of the respondents said ‘No. Shut it down’ while only 1% voted to keep it going no matter the cost.
The key selling point for shutting down the program is that in its 11-year history it has not led to a single arrest or conviction, which was the original justification for the law. That does not mean, however, that there are not plenty of handgun crimes committed in NYS. Earlier this month a NYC police officer was shot and killed by a fugitive with an illegal gun. Apparently the vast majority of the guns used in crimes in New York are both illegal and brought to New York from other states.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau argues that Congress is not doing enough to end the flood of illegal guns into New York.
Morganthau states that by failing to appoint a permanent director of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Congress has undermined that agency’s commitment to stopping the illegal gun traffic. His evidence is a roughly 30 percent decline in federal prosecutions over the period that ATF has lacked a permanent director.
Morganthau states that the “gun lobby” is responsible for the holdup, due to pressure on Congress.
So, here’s a question: If the NRA and other organizations that seek to protect the rights of Americans under the 2nd Amendment to own firearms want government to stop harassing legal gun owners, don’t they have an obligation to support government’s efforts to prosecute those involved in the trafficking of illegal guns? On what grounds can they justify lobbying against the appointment of a permanent director of the ATF without being hypocritical?