“A New Hampshire man allegedly sold a military-style assault rifle, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammunition to an undercover federal agent who was part of a joint investigation with Tewksbury police,” bostonglobe.com reports. Holding that joint: our good friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (And Really Big Fires). Just in case you thought this was yet another case of the ATF manufacturing a crime, you’re right! Well, maybe . . .
[John J.] Miller drew the attention of law enforcement when he allegedly attempted to illegally sell firearms in Tewksbury and one other Massachusetts community, officials said. As part of that investigation, Miller met with an undercover ATF agent at the Holiday Inn on Highwood Drive in Tewksbury, officials said.
During that meeting on Tuesday Miller allegedly sold the assault rifle, a shotgun, and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition, officials said. He was arrested as he left the meeting, and authorities found a loaded handgun inside his vehicle.
Question: if the Tewksbury po-po and the big guns at the ATF knew Miller was selling firearms illegally, why didn’t they monitor his movements, wait for him to sell a gun illegally and then arrest both buyer and seller? Perhaps that would have led to other criminal prosecutions.
I know: that takes honest-to-God police work. Time. Money. And it’s not half as fun as posing as a buyer. And the ATF doesn’t seem to have much experience nor the taste for traditional police work. But hey, if entrapment – or something not far from it – takes one “military-sty;e assault rifle” off the street it’s worth acting as if a citizen is innocent until made guilty. [/sarc]