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By Lee Williams

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) claims to be the world’s largest and most influential professional association for senior police executives, and like many of its members and major donors, it is devoutly anti-gun.

An investigation by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project revealed that the top IACP donors include billionaire Michael Bloomberg and other staunch anti-gun groups, and based upon an anti-gun propaganda piece the IACP recently published, Bloomberg and his ilk are getting their money’s worth.

Formed in 1893, the IACP claims to have 31,000 members in more than 165 countries. “The IACP is a recognized leader in global policing, committed to advancing safer communities through thoughtful, progressive police leadership,” its website states.

There’s an important distinction to be made between elected county sheriffs and appointed chiefs of police who comprise the IACP. Sheriffs are answerable to the people. If a sheriff makes an unpopular decision, such as promoting an anti-gun agenda, the voters can remove them from office.

Chiefs of police, however, are only answerable to whoever appointed them to office, usually a city manager who serves at the pleasure of a city council. As a result, police chiefs tend to mirror the politics of their bosses. Large metropolitan cities that historically have been controlled by Democrat administrations appoint fellow Democrats as chiefs of police, and it is these anti-rights chiefs who dominate the IACP committees and senior leadership.

One of the IACP’s latest stories, “Ghost Guns: Profits for Illegal Manufacturers, Concealment for Criminals and Terrorists Worldwide,” which was published in the November issue of IACP’s Police Chief magazine, leave not doubt that the IACP chiefs are nothing but paid propagandists with gold badges in their billfolds.

The use of the term ghost gun betrays the IACP’s and the authors’ intent, which is to defame any American who builds firearms in their homes, even though Americans were building firearms in their homes long before there was a United States of America.

Courtesy JSD Supply

Homebuilt firearms are perfectly legal, despite the author’s ghost gun label, which is just the latest in a long line of focus-group-honed anti-gun pejoratives, such as saturday night special, cop-killer bullets and, of course, assault weapons.

Follow the money

The IACP is a nonprofit 501c(3) with assets totaling more than $33 million. According to its most recent IRS Form 990, in 2019 the IACP received more than $16 million in grants and contributions. The document doesn’t specify the exact source of the funds – the actual grantors or contributors. However, all of the IACP’s major donors, which it lists on its website are either solely devoted to banning guns or have large anti-gun programs.

The number-one group the IACP credits with helping support its efforts is the Bloomberg Foundation – part of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vast anti-gun empire, which includes Everytown for Gun Safety, Demanding Moms and The Trace.

Also listed is the lesser-known Joyce Foundation, which operates its own “gun violence” prevention program. Its goals are to:

  • Advance and implement federal, state, and local policies and practices that reduce easy accessibility of guns to those at risk of violence
  • Support policies to reduce easy accessibility of guns to those at risk of violence
  • Reduce the next generation’s exposure to gun violence through education on the risks of gun ownership
  • Litigate to defend evidence-based gun policies and challenge extreme gun rights policies and practices

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation is another source of grant funding for the police chief group. The two left-wing billionaires have invested more than $20 million in anti-gun research seeking “the causes of and solutions to gun violence in America.”

The Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, yet another major IACP donor, supports “direct services, police legitimacy, and gun policy—to create the conditions for violence prevention and reduction.”

Other IACP donors include the U.S. Departments of Justice, State and Transportation, in addition to the Target Corporation and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

That all of its major donors are anti-gun can’t be a coincidence. Instead, it’s a pattern and practice of behavior, which are strong words in law enforcement circles.

Advocacy, not journalism

In 2018, IACP members passed a resolution “warning of the threat posed by untraceable firearms made through 3D printing and unfinished frames and receivers.”

The resolution states . . .

The availability of online code for the 3D printing of firearms and firearm parts increases the risk that dangerous people, including felons, domestic abusers, and other people prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, as well as terrorists and criminals around the world, will evade background check requirements and obtain a firearm.

The “ghost gun” story that appeared in Police Chief this month was written in support of this resolution and in support of a rule change proposed by the ATF which would require manufacturers of firearms parts kits to be federally licensed, pay Federal Firearms Excise Tax, require ATF Form 4473s from customers, conduct NICS background checks and follow ATF recordkeeping requirements.

To be clear, the story was not designed to inform or educate IACP members. It was written to support the ATF’s and the IACP’s latest anti-gun effort – their senseless war against homebuilt firearms.

Not surprisingly, both of the authors who wrote the ghost gun story are retired ATF agents.

Not fooling anyone

The story makes some bold claims, which are anecdotal and not supported by any data.

  • “According to estimates based on data from ATF’s National Tracing Center, approximately 10,000 privately manufactured firearms (PMFs) or ‘ghost guns’ were recovered by law enforcement in 2019.
  • The Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division reported in January 2021 that 41 percent of the division’s cases involve ghost guns.
  • A May 2019 statewide analysis in California found that 30 percent of all guns recovered in connection with a crime in the state did not have serial numbers.
  • Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Sheree Briscoe stated that the Baltimore, Maryland, Police Department has recovered 126 ghost guns in 2020, 15 of which were involved in homicides and shootings, a 400 percent increase from the previous year.”

The high numbers of firearms without serial numbers make it clear what the ATF and the authors are doing: They are combining the number of recovered homebuilt firearms with recovered commercially-made firearms, which have had their serial numbers illegally removed.

No comment

Emails sent to the IACP’s media contact weren’t returned. The emails contained one question: Does your data differentiate between homebuilt firearms that were legally made without a serial number and commercially-made firearms that had their serial numbers illegally altered or removed?

An IACP staffer who answered the phone said the group “was currently between media people.” She promised that Sarah Guy, a senior advisor to the IACP, would speak on behalf of the organization and answer questions for this story. Ms. Guy never returned calls.

The ghost gun story was written by Joseph Vince and Hugo Barrera – both retired ATF agents.

Vince describes himself as a professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland. (The college’s website says he is a lecturer.) According to his bio, Vince spent 30 years as an ATF agent before joining the college as Director of Criminal Justice Programs.

“Due to Vince’s vast experience involving the diversion of firearms for illegal purposes, he was appointed the United States’ representative to the United Nations Working Group on Small Arms Proliferation,” his bio states. “This group was tasked with devising a comprehensive plan to enable nations to work together in thwarting the flow of small arms to criminals and terrorists.”

Barrera, according to his bio, joined the ATF in 1983. His career included an appointment to the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility (Internal Affairs), and a stint as the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Miami Field Division. Barrera currently heads the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

Neither Vince nor Barrera returned calls seeking comment about their story.

Hype, not threat

Bob Songer is the Sheriff of Klickitat County, Washington.

When Washington Gov. Jay Inslee shut down public gatherings and non-essential businesses – which included churches and gun shops – in response to COVID-19, Sheriff Songer publicly refused to enforce the governor’s order.

“Not allowing citizens to attend church or firearm dealers to conduct business is a violation of the First Amendment and the Second Amendment, but the Governor has no problem allowing marijuana shops to stay open for business,” Sheriff Songer posted on his department’s website. “As Sheriff I will uphold our citizens’ constitutional rights and liberties and will NOT ENFORCE Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 Proclamation Orders on public gatherings and non-essential businesses.”

Asked Monday whether “ghost guns” were showing up at crime scenes in Klickitat County, Sheriff Songer said, “No. Hell, no. Ghost guns are just BS spread out there like assault weapons to get naïve people not familiar with firearms running scared like a bunch of sheep. I’ve heard of ghost guns, but I haven’t seen a single one.”

Kurt Hoffman is the Sheriff of Sarasota County, Florida.

Sheriff Hoffman, too, has not seen any homebuilt firearms show up in crime scenes.

“I haven’t seen one single one,” he said. “The term ‘ghost gun’ is rhetoric created by anti-gun people. It’s a buzzword that could eventually become reality the more it’s used, like ‘assault weapons.’ The more that ‘ghost guns’ get into our lexicon, the more it becomes a false narrative, from this sheriff’s position.”

Said Hoffman: “As Sheriff of one of the largest Sheriff’s Offices in Florida, I am not involved in any IACP training or activities because of this very reason: It is intellectually dishonest to write that kind of an article.”


The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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  1. A chief of police is generally appointed by the mayor or his rep. So…political appointments for faceless bureaucrats that happen to wear a uniform and are as far removed from actual policing as POTUS is from mail delivery. Thus, zero surprise.

  2. Thank goodness for groups like the International Association of Chiefs of Police. With them on the case, even right wing people can hate cops.

    • Acevedo us 1st tool I thought of also.

      That is one woke ass/PC website. Very illustrative.

      But no membership list posted? Why would they hide THAT info? Apparently not even the city Mayor/Council (supervisor/boss of the popo) can join.

  3. “has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to launch the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative (MVAI).”

    Good god…they are letting criminals loose upon the population and arresting victims. Some of whom they are perfectly happy to let die. Even if it’s one of their own.

  4. Corporate billionaires bought the left. All those tree hugging, animal loving, Trump hating folks on the left don;t have enough brain cells to figure that they are the new age nazi’s.

    I’d laugh if it wasn’t so damn tragic.

    • The interesting thing about this is that there are so many Trump hating Copland drinking Democrat idiots blaming rich white corporate billionaires for all Americas problems. People that berate capitalism in any form to bring about communism.

      My question has more to do with Soros, Bloomberg, etc. using their tremendous resources to put both sides against the middle to purposely cause an implosion.

  5. “The IACP is a recognized leader in global policing, committed to advancing safer communities through thoughtfull, PROGRESSIVE police leadership. ” That one word says all you need to know about those assholes.

  6. I got all my international travel done earlier in life. Now, the world seems to have gone full tyranny. Heck, unless absolutely necessary (family medical), I will not even travel to USA states that do not recognize my permit for concealed carry. My family in NJ knows, they have to come to PA; I am not going to the prison state.

    The 2A makes the USA the outstanding, necessary force for Liberty. God bless the USA and God take those who would undermine it.

  7. Most big city chiefs are buttlicking toadies. One of the proudest achievements in my 30 year career with a BCPD was contributing to the forced retirements of two of them. They were butt boys who would have sold their wives and daughters into prostitution to gain brownie points with their demoturd masters.

  8. Oh my I truly feel a traitor.
    When working telemarketing this is one of the organization’s I bullshiited people into donating money too.
    And the sad sad is Donald Trump was one of the people owning the company that did the telemarketing.

  9. “The term ‘ghost gun’ is rhetoric created by anti-gun people.”

    That’s true. For example, Washington DC defines ‘Ghost Gun’ as a gun that is not detectable (presumably by metal detectors) when all the metal parts are removed – in short it effectively bans all guns that use other than metal in their frames which means, for example, all polymer material guns are banned ‘Ghost Guns’ and such guns includes Glocks, Sig, etc… the most common hand guns held.

    The term ‘ghost gun’ has nothing to do with curbing, deterring, preventing crime violent or otherwise, its an end run attempt around the 2A to in effect enact a complete ban of the most commonly held hand guns.

    If you look at the Brady web site > > we find them constantly referring to ‘ghost gun’ in the form of ‘kit’ firearms that can be purchased or procured.

    That is not true. They are talking about 80% completed which under federal law, and practically, are not firearms. So, for example, if I took a block of metal or polymer and machined it to make a gun that’s not a purchased or procured “kit’ its not a ‘ghost gun’ under their definition.

    In other words they are actually indirectly defining the materials used as ‘ghost gun’ rather than a firearm, they are trying to set ‘these two things are alike so both are the same thing’ precedent. The anti-gun groups frequently point to the Washington DC law for a reason, its because the Washington DC law is effectively an exploitable foot hold to begin banning and confiscating firearms.

    so once again, there is no such thing as a ‘ghost gun’. Its an invented term anti-gun groups use to define a gun they do not agree with to make the issue more confused and ‘fearsome’ to establish a precedent they can use to make an end run attempt around the 2A to in effect enact a complete ban and confiscation of guns.

    • Dick Heller sued, forcing them to clean up their ordinance. Which should have been obvious to the council: take all the metal parts away and you don’t have a gun, just a piece of plastic. And that is true for pistols and ARs; all that is left is the grip.

  10. FANTACY quote——————-The use of the term ghost gun betrays the IACP’s and the authors’ intent, which is to defame any American who builds firearms in their homes, even though Americans were building firearms in their homes long before there was a United States of America.————-quote



    Are ghost guns frequently used in violent crime?????????????????????????

    Yes, ghost guns are increasing being used in shootings across the country.

    In July 2020, an individual who was prohibited from possessing guns allegedly murdered two people in Pennsylvania using a homemade 9mm handgun.9

    In November 2019, a 16-year-old shot five of his classmates at Saugus High School in California—two of them fatally—using a homemade handgun, before fatally shooting himself.10

    In August 2019, a shooter used a homemade gun kit to build a .223-caliber firearm that he later used to fire 41 shots in 32 seconds in a bar in Dayton, Ohio, shooting 26 people and killing nine.11

    In 2017, in Northern California, a man prohibited from possessing firearms ordered kits to build AR-15-style rifles. On November 13, he initiated a series of shootings that began with fatally shooting his wife at home, followed by a rampage the next day during which he fired at multiple people in several different locations, including an elementary school, killing five people and injuring dozens more.12

    In 2013, a shooter opened fire in Santa Monica, California, shooting 100 rounds, killing five people, and injuring several others at a community college using a homemade AR-15 rifle. Reporting indicates the shooter had previously tried to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer and failed a background check, potentially indicating why he opted to order parts to build a gun instead.13

    Law enforcement officials around the country are sounding the alarm about the dramatic increase in the recovery of ghost guns at crime scenes in their communities. ATF reported that approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered across the country in 2019.14 Ghost guns have also been illegally trafficked to Mexico.15 In addition:

    In 2019, Washington, D.C., police recovered 115 ghost guns, a 360 percent increase from 2018, when they recovered 25 ghost guns, and a 3,733 percent increase from 2017, when only three such firearms were recovered.16

    In 2019, ATF reported recovering 117 ghost guns in Maryland with almost 25 percent recovered from Baltimore alone. Ghost gun recoveries in the state then tripled in 2020.17
    According to law enforcement in Philadelphia, ghost gun recoveries in that city rose 152 percent from 2019 to 2020.18

    The special agent in charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division reported in January 2021 that 41 percent of the division’s cases involve ghost guns, and a May 2019 statewide analysis in California found that 30 percent of all guns recovered in connection with a crime in the state did not have serial numbers.19

    In addition, an investigation by The Trace found that ghost guns are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for violent white supremacists and anti-government extremists.20

    In conclusion the ATF is a law unto itself and as in the past it rules at 8:00 AM and it is then a new “regulation” (disingenuous term for new law) is now the law of the land at 5:00 PM.

    No Judge Conservative or Liberal will declare the ATF ruling illegal or Unconstitutional because ghost guns are a danger to the people of the country and even the much ballyhooed Scalia decision with the usual double talk and smoke and mirrors declared “The Courts had the right to regulate firearms” (slick disingenuous term for ban or restrict firearms).

    In conclusion your right to own a weapon rests with the rulings of the courts, not the Constitution, and history has proven this reality like it or not.

    No sane person would want ghost guns legal and no other civilized nation tolerates them.

    • It would in interesting to know the source of all this “information” about all these “crimes and mass murders”. Interesting that I’ve heard of none of these cases nor is a source cited. On the other hand, one thing I have learned over the past 50 years or so is that leftists lie, and they will say or do anything to disarm the public. Then we would just be subjects, not citizens.

  11. Never underestimate the stupidity of Democrat Voters.

    The next King County Sheriff in Washington will be appointed by the Executive. The voters voted away their right to choose the Sheriff.

    These are the same voters that recently approved a 10-day waiting period for a Ruger 10/22 because it is a semi-automatic. And made it illegal to lend it to someone else, such as at a shooting range.

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