Sunday, October 31, 2010

Badger Guns lawsuit

David Codrea first alerted us at War on Guns regarding the lawsuit against Badger Guns that was filed last week. The plaintiffs are two Milwaukee police officers and the city of Milwaukee. Read the complaint.

First off, I'm not an attorney but will only look at this through the lens of common sense. Secondly, I have no connection to the defendants, Badger Guns and its predecessor, Badger Outdoors. My only interest in this is that it appears that a FFL dealer has been accused of knowingly engaging in supplying firearms to the felons of Milwaukee and by accusation alone, should be drummed out of business.

A look at Badger Guns over the past year:

I've been posting about Badger Guns for a while now and Kurt Hofmann has done the same.

By all reports in the local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the ATF is not actively engaged in an investigation of the current business, Badger Guns. However, the ATF had cited Badger Outdoors of numerous violations and recommended their license be revoked. The owner of Badger Outdoors voluntarily turned in his FFL license and sold the business to his son and the name changed to Badger Guns.

Local politicians and newspapers seem to think there is some funny business going on and there could be. But the only thing that happened was a FFL holder gave up his license and his son took over the assets of the business. My understanding of how one obtains an FFL is that background checks are performed and fingerprints taken to identify the licensee in order to conduct an investigation. The ATF granted the new license at some time in 2007.

It would seem to me that if violations were so severe during the Badger Outdoors years, they would not have granted a license to the son of an accused habitual violator. The Journal Sentinel has accused the father of still having ties with the current business, again this seems like a supposition on their part. While it could be true, their logic is that since it was owned by the father and now owned by the son and they are related so there must be a business relationship.

Badger Guns has been accused of knowingly allowing straw purchasers to purchase firearms by not preventing felons into their store through "scanning the identification of everyone coming into the store" and demanding "that anyone who comes into the store to buy a gun or shoot on the range sign a sworn affidavit saying he is not a criminal or committing a crime."

If someone is going to commit a felony by lying on a 4437 form to purchase a firearm, is it really going to be a big deal to sign a "sworn affidavit?"

If Badger Guns was such a profit driven business that it would sell any firearm to anyone, then why did they alert local police of a felon who tried to purchase a handgun at their store?
Authorities had notified the store that the suspect, Carlos Flores, might come in.

Flores did come in and the store called police. West Milwaukee Police arrested Flores.
The cynical among us would say they were trying to save their backsides.

Th vilification of Badger Guns has been ongoing for over a year. Newspapers in both Madison and Milwaukee, local politicians, police chiefs and even a congresswoman have all tried to pile it on to this local FFL holder. Please look at the previous posts by myself and Kurt. They give the history behind this witch hunt.

It has been my contention from the start that if Badger Guns was truly not following the law regarding gun sales, the ATF would have been shutting them down or hauling them off to jail.

In one of the articles by the Journal Sentinel I previously had this thought:
The article goes on about the overworked ATF investigators and the practically non-existent regulations regarding delving into a dealers operation. Something I find hard to believe after having talked to dealers I know.
"In 99.9% of the time, it doesn't need to be adversarial. We are all working toward the same goal," said Sherry Duval, an ATF spokeswoman. "Our business is not to put them out of business."
Tell that to Red's Trading Post.
Taking Ms Duval at her word, it's not the ATF's job to put dealers out of business, it's the Brady Campaign's job.


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