NSSF: Statement on Chicago Gun Trace Report

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo

Few, if any, gun owners would disagree with more police on the streets or stiffer penalties for criminals who use guns. However, we all have seen surveys that claim gun owners support a proposal based on a couple of pieces such as these when in fact the anti gun forces are proposing something much more insidious. Chicago’s latest Gun Trace report may be just such as a strategy, but that is for the reader’s to decide. Here is the reading and analysis from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, issued the following statement.

Gun Trace Report 2017 issued at the direction of the Chicago Mayor’s Office outlines a comprehensive public safety strategy, certain elements of which the firearms industry would endorse including increasing the number of police officers on the street and tough sentences for criminals who use guns. The bulk of the report, however, starts from a purposely misleading premise and represents what we have heard before as a political narrative from the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

As to the premise, a tracing request is simply a law enforcement tool. As the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ATF has repeatedly stated, “The appearance of [a licensed dealer] or a first unlicensed purchaser of record in association with a crime gun or in association with multiple crime guns in no way suggests that either the federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL) or the first purchaser has committed criminal acts. Rather, such information may provide a starting point for further and more detailed investigation.” (Crime Gun Trace Analysis Reports, ATF, 1998).

Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) are already heavily regulated. Additional laws on the state level would be redundant and burdensome without doing anything to enhance public safety, only serving to impede the lawful commerce in firearms and ultimately affecting only law-abiding citizens.

The areas of Chicago affected by the criminal misuse of firearms are under siege from criminal cartel and gang activity involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs. Even when apprehended and convicted, these repeat criminals are often treated leniently by the criminal justice system. Taking criminals off the street is the only way to stem this violence.

Chicago already has some of the most stringent gun control regulations in the country and, clearly, criminals are not complying with the laws. More laws won’t work to change criminal behavior.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, on behalf of the firearms industry, recently concluded an impactful “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” anti-straw purchasing public awareness campaign using radio, billboards, transit advertising and social media messaging in the Chicagoland area (the second such campaign in five years) at the request of and in coordination with ATF. Several area law enforcement organizations participated in a public event to launch that campaign. It is indicative of the political narrative pursued by Mayor Emmanuel that no representative of the City of Chicago or the Chicago Police was present for that event.

Chicago has a serious criminal violence problem in portions of the city. It is not emblematic of the nation, nor even of Chicago, overall. We applaud the initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring more federal resources to bear in Chicago. We call on all levels of law enforcement and all segments of the community to work together. It is patently wrong for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to use the framework of this report in a false narrative to again blame the firearms industry for problems that require great political will to address.

What do you think of tracing requests? Do you see any value? Do you agree or disagree with the NSSF’s position? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (18)

  1. Waterhammer, I agree that prayer and unity in the faith. Is the only hope we have as a free people. I also agree that the war on drug’s is a joke. It’s just another symptom of a corrupt government that loves to spend money. But it will continue until we the people stop it.

  2. Here’s the part where most people CHOOSE not to pay attention. Yes, Chicago has strict gun laws. However, neighboring states have VERY loose gun laws. It’s easy for someone that can legally purchase a firearm to get it in Wisconsin, bring it to Chicago, then sell it on the street for a large profit. Now that it’s a private sale, that gun is untraceable. What they appear to be asking (imo) is that the FFL says who the first (legal) buyer is. If the authorities can ask that person who they sold it too (legally) then at least they have a path. Why are we protecting the guy that is putting all the guns on the streets? It for sure isn’t the gangbangers working in metal shops building guns from scrap metal. They have to come from somewhere, right? Why do we always jump to “the government’s trying to take my guns” mentality? Even this blog prepped you to think negatively

    1. That would equate to a national registry of firearms. I’ll let the readers explain the ramifications in case you do not know. If we are lucky, G-man might even may want to weigh in… ~Dave Dolbee

    2. As the saying goes, “Freedom isn’t free”. We need to do SOMETHING to stop excessive gun violence, and especially guns getting into the hands of the wrong people that would use them in a violent fashion against our civil society. I always try to base my discussions on facts and data, not hearsay and speculation. Tell me a time that the government actually came for peoples guns? Actually, I can tell you several times that happened and they were all against Black Americans. I’m not saying that to turn this into a race issue. I’m saying it to further my statement that you can’t have it both ways. When the Black Panther Party walked around with guns legally, California made some of the strictest gun laws they could at the time and many other states followed. The “legal” gun owners didn’t say anything. Sorry, I digress. My point is that I am a Black man from a metropolitan city. I am also a legal gun owner. I have also witnessed gun crimes.
      But MOST of all, I am willing to sacrifice some of my freedoms for the safety of my fellow Americans.

    3. Anyone willing to sacrifice ANY essential liberties for a little temporary security deserves NEITHER liberty NOR security.

      And if you don’t know the source of that quote, don’t try to talk to anybody about either until you do!

    4. D from SEA, your presumption that guns or a problem with the law. Are the motivation for evil that exists in society. Or that stricter laws will somehow eliminate or reduce the ability of sick individuals. To kill or harm others for no rational reason. Please at least concider that evil does not respond to civilised decorum or order. In fact, please understand that the laws of an ordered society. Are recognized by the commonwealth, based on a willingness to live in an ordered society. The 2nd amendment is a necessary part of the system of checks and balances for an ordered society. Should the government be given the ability to monitor or track the whereabouts of individual firearms. The republic will no longer exist. This understanding is the defining feature of the 2nd amendment.

    5. Jeff, my presumptions are not that guns are the problem or even most of the gun laws. The problem is our cultural ideology of guns.
      I have two points. The first is in the article itself. The whole idea is to make it easier for law enforcement to do their jobs to track illegal gun usage. Not the gun, but the user if they conducted an illegal act. You don’t know me at all. But if you had a gun to sell and I had the money, you’d probably sell it to me with no questions asked. Now if I sold that gun on the street to a drug dealer/gang banger/drug addict and they shot someone with it, no one knows how they got the gun, right? It’s just another person that should not have one somehow has one. There is no accountability for someone knowingly and willingly selling guns to people that shouldn’t have them. Now before everyone blows a gasket, I know that most people think they are a good judge of character. And you can’t control if I just snapped one day. I’m talking about those that deliberately sell to the criminals to make themselves some money. Why can’t we agree to try to stop that?
      This leads to my second point. Too often, people run back to the argument that without guns our government will do this and that and society will collapse and blah, blah, blah. There are several democratic countries; England, Canada, Japan and Australia for example, that have VERY strict laws or don’t allow guns at all and their government hasn’t thrown everyone in concentration camps. All I’m trying to say is that we need to have real conversations and stop spewing rhetoric about ideologies from the 1700s. There are ways to fix our system if we decide we want to sit down and talk like adults. That goes for both sides.

  3. Never did see logic behind making a crime more punishable due to choice of weaponry, a firearm, as to the trauma a victim feels is no more than if perp used a knife, crowbar, baseball bat or fist as their.weapon of choice.
    Yet pro gun folks at times act upon emotions the same as do the anti gun crowd, and being macho types think that lock em up longer and throw key away somehow solves future problems. Same as anti gun.
    The problem is not just the weapon, education, lack of nods, income levels, patriotism or lack of religious upbringing as people’s of all walks of life have been known to kill and rob.
    Too many say, “Well it has always been this way” and think that packing a gun will somehow lead to elimination of problem..
    I, BEING DIMMEST BULB in this discussion k ow not the answers to stopping criminal acts but I do know in own case OWNING multiple weapons and latest techie AR has has not stopped any robberies rapes and muggings where you folk live.
    It seems that extending time spent behind hard has not alo e sowed down rate of crime,
    As one problem I feel contributes to recidivismrate is the lack of occupational opportunities. And this problem seems to be the same for all educational levels.
    The societal hardness towards what they call ex-cons keeps those persons on same level as being a con on day leave.
    Heck the throw away the key crowd thinks prison rape is part of punishment
    I do not know answers but the super innocentsdepending upon solving it by
    Our OWNING a gun sure as f ain’t working.
    Could be our macho blinders can only see the 2nd amendment, as if there was not a world outside of shoot em first.

  4. Rahm Emanuel is a gangster style thug, w/criminal ambitions. Of course he is going to side w/criminals. Law abiding citizen’s are his enamy

  5. Chicago apparently only wants the criminals to have firearms. Emanuel is the worst Mayor Chicago has had in a long time. He doesn’t care about the people who work hard, want to live a good life and have to depend upon the Chicago police dept. for their protection who are already overburdened with the crime there. 99% of the time police show up AFTER the crime has been already committed. Ask any robbery victim, rape victim or a family member of a murder victim if a firearm might have made a difference and the majority would say probably. At least they would have had a fighting chance. I worked at a youth corrections prison for 16.5 years and when the concealed carry bill passed in my state, I heard several of the inmates from the inner cities complaining how “now we will have to pick our targets more carefully or we may get shot!” I was blown over how they were already talking about how their tactics will have to change and were grumbling about it. The criminal mind knows only one thing. Force trumps everything else. They are predators who take advantage of the weak and use ambush to take away something you worked all week to get- your pay check- to take it away from you in one minute. Like one inmate stated, “why should I work when I can let you do the working and I can take it from you at gunpoint!” Awareness is something most people lack as they are easy victims on their cell phones all the time. I would place awareness even above having a firearm in your possession. You will still get robbed if you don’t see it coming. Trust your instincts because usually they are correct.

  6. Bob Shirley woke me up to yet another subtle assault on firearms rights.

    Yes, indeed, the weapon does not matter. But rather the violence or threat of violence that should determine extent of incarceration or fines.

    My hope is that we find a way to tackle the root causes of large scale criminal violence and treat the problem at its source.

  7. Areas of the city “…under siege from criminal cartel and gang activity involved in the trafficking of ILLEGAL drugs.” Think about that. If the drugs were LEGAL:, but taxed heavily, the cartels and gangs would be out of business, the drugs would cost less, and the “profits” would be going into the government’s coffers instead of the criminals.’

    We’ve been using the same tactics against drugs since the 1930’s that we used against alcohol in the 1920’s and getting the same results! We fund criminals, we put people in jail for being human, and we complain about the violence! Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Let’s try to conquer the “drug problem’ the same way we did the “alcohol problem!. When’s the last time you heard of alcohol dealers having shoot outs over ‘turf’ and injuring innocent bystanders?

    1. Yes!! You are correct! So to those moral absolutist who support the drug war out of a religious pretext, know this: The “war” on drugs, ends up being a war on the poor. Jesus loved the weak, from Mary Magdalene to Lepers. Many religious Americans fail to realize this, in fact they support policies which harm the poor and prey on the meek even though Jesus said “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” Mathew 5:5. Pray all day people, until you understand what Christ was trying to tell you, nothing is going to change… Too many Pharisees in this country, so blatantly unaware of their hypocracies.

  8. I disagree with the premise that a criminal should be punished more harshly for using a gun, than if he used a knife or a baseball bat. Dont demonize firearms that wsy.

    1. Wow, Bob Shirley, your absolutely right, never thought of it that way. Makes me look at it a little differently

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