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America needs stronger federal gun control laws to fight the scourge of gun violence in our cities that threatens even children in their own schoolrooms. We know this because our peripatetic president, the civilian disarmament caucus in congress and the Gun Control Industrial Complex tell us so. Every chance they get. The only thing standing between the current sad state of affairs and the peace and tranquility that reigns in places like the UK is having the moral courage it takes to enact common sense measures such as an assault weapons ban and stiffer prohibitions against gun trafficking. But if all that’s true – if federal prosecutors are under-gunned (so to speak) when trying to fight gangs and straw purchasers – why were Chicago, LA and New York dead last federal gun law enforcement last year? . . . has sifted through the data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report:

The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn’t always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.

So while the blood-soaked City of Big Shoulders racked up more than 500 murders committed with firearms last year, where was the D0J devoting most of its resources in the fight against illegal guns? On the mean streets of southern Alaska, Kansas and western Tennessee, naturally enough.

Susan Long, a statistician and co-director of TRAC, said the data revealed a stronger federal enforcement presence in rural areas than urban ones. “If taxpayers of [a certain area] don’t pass strong gun control measures … the feds pick up the ball,” she said. “But now we’ve got sequestration cutting back on all these resources.”

So our betters in Washington have looked across the fruited plain and have seen a big disparity. They figure that all the civil rights abrogating anti-gun laws on the books in places like Chicago and New York mean Rahm and Mike have things well in hand, gun-wise. No really.

Then there are places that take a more, laissez faire approach to their citizens owning and using firearms. The feds obviously see this, sigh and figure that if the dumb rubes who occupy flyover country won’t enact the same kinds of common sense laws their more enlightened urban big brothers have, then it’s up to them to step in and do something about it.

And it’s hard to blame them, really. Who could look at Chicago and not conclude that all those gun laws are doing the job?

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  1. “If taxpayers of [a certain area] don’t pass strong gun control measures … the feds pick up the ball,”

    What “ball” lady? The Feds aren’t making new laws, they aren’t taking Chicago gun laws and enforcing them in South Dakota. They’re just refusing to enforce the existing laws in urban areas, areas with astronomically higher crime rates, gun and otherwise… aaaaand you’re ok with this.

  2. On it’s surface this seems like a giant anti-redneck conspiracy, but there may be a couple of logical explanations for this.

    First, it would make sense that areas with higher firearms ownership rates would have higher incidences of firearms owners running afoul of federal gun laws.

    Second, in cities like Chicago the local and state laws are far stricter than federal laws. Illegal NFA firearms are more likely to pop up in Montana than Chicago. The gang bangers are shooting up the place with perfectly legal (federally) Glocks with 17 round magazines. They’re not too concerned with short barreled rifles or silencers.

    • “First, it would make sense that areas with higher [LEGAL] firearms ownership rates would have higher incidences of firearms owners running afoul of federal gun laws.”

      That would make sense if we looked only at legal ownership. For example; Chicago has a very low rate rate of legal firearm owners. However, no one is suggesting Chicago is gun free.

      Every thug with a record that gets picked up with a gun is in violation of a federal gun law.

      • While I don’t have any statistics to back it up, I’m guessing that the overall rate of gun ownership, legal and illegal, is still much higher in places like Montana than Chicago.

        The larger discrepancy probably lies in the fact that many firearms are perfectly legal under federal law but strictly verboten in Chicago. The gang bangers aren’t too interested in the long guns that most of the federal laws pertain to.

  3. I’d had to disagree with Gov. P above.

    There’s plenty of localized LE attention regarding firearms in Chicago, at least. At the Federal level, id say the reason they’re going after rural folk is because we ironically follow the law.

    What’s an easier case for a revenue hungry Federal LE agency to bring; an NFA chare against a Tennessee resident who lets slip they got an unregistered SBR, or a gang hanger who steals an untraceable Glock with a filed off serial #? More importantly, who’s less likely to shoot at the ATF when they serve the arrest or search warrant?

    Furthermore, there’s a racial element to consider. Haul too many black people and Hispanics into prison for gun crimes, and the ACLU and liberal elite will come down on the Feds like a pack of wolves. “ATF= Racists” , the headlines will say. Buh-bye budget increase.

    It’s a numbers game. Prosecuting rural folk not only serves a political message, its much safer for the cops and much less likely to trigger a riot or even worse, a speech from Al Sharpton.

    • Let me put it another way. Let’s suppose there was a federal speed limit, say 75mph, and they employed an army of federal police to enforce it. Now in Montana everyone owns a car and drives long distances, so it’s likely that many people would press their luck and drive faster. On the other hand very few people in New York City even own a car and even if they did the city imposes speed limits much slower than 75mph. Very few people will be caught by federal police for driving 80mph in a 25mph speed zone because the local police will bust them for driving 30mph.

      The federal (gun) laws are arbitrary and pointless as they don’t effect the murder or violent crime rates at all. But if the local governmental restrictions are far more extreme it makes sense that there wouldn’t be an abundance of violators left for federal agents to pick off.

      • Problem is, driving 80 MPH in a 25 in a city like NYC, would take care of the problem in a messier way. Oh the cops would have to deal with it, as a traffic fatality.

        But… From what I “get” you are saying that “uncle bob” out in the sticks, feels he can get away with making an AR into a full auto, equip it with a silencer/suppressor and have a 10 1/2″ barrel on it, while the gang-banger won’t dare?

        • The gang bangers aren’t generally gun savvy enough to make such illegal alterations to a firearm. Granted they might be interested in purchasing a stolen fully auto Mac 10, but due to the near ban on such a weapon they are very rare and valuable and likely to be well secured.

          The way the gangs put their firearms to use in the inner cities has a lot in common with driving 80mph in a 25mph zone, including the lethal results.

      • They should be putting resources where they are needed. Since Chicago has a high crime and murder rate and the locals are supposedly overwhelmed, then the feds should be helping them with the violent crime. This is not the case, the feds are going where the low hanging fruit is. So, I disagree with your analysis governor.

    • I’m driving to Tennessee next week to visit family near Nashville. Always love coming to the great Volunteer State, now even more so. Go Vols!

  4. It’s not about crime levels, nor homicide rates, it’s about an agency that is so out of control the agents who do the enforcement decide where they want to live. If they don’t want to live inside inner city crime zones, they won’t and no one can make them. They will go to where they wish and the agency be damned.

  5. US News doesn’t seem to point out exactly what they qualify
    as a weapons violation, so I am assuming it means any illegal
    activity that involves a firearm.

    There could be a number of reasons for the differences. I
    think part of it may stem from necessity or even laziness on
    the part of prosecutors. For example, if a person is charged
    with murder via a gun, is the prosecutor going to focus on the
    murder charge or the illegal weapon use? Would a conviction
    of murder necessitate the need to add the weapons charge?
    Ideally, it would matter, but I can see a DA ignoring lesser
    charges in order to focus on the main problem. Just a thought.

    • From what I understand (not a lawyer, blah blah blah), prosecutors have skipped the “focus” step and just throw as many changes with as wide a range of severity just to see what sticks. It isn’t about a violation of a specific law, it’s about getting you on anything if you come to there attention.

  6. You’d also have to look at agents / 1000 heads in each geographical area.

    It’s not a prosecution is just some random event – it requires manpower and investigations. And, I GUARANTEE you that there is not even a normal distribution of agents per 1000 people across all geographies – much less a constant one.

  7. I’m thinking that gang-bangers shooting other gang-bangers is not really a problem (as long as they complete the job), hence less attention by the feds. The local po-po have to deal with the unintended casualties, not the feds.

  8. “But now we’ve got sequestration cutting back on all these resources.”

    I’m sick and tired of these people. A 2% reduction is an increase of 14% protected NEW spending IS NOT A F**KING CUT!

  9. i will say this: chicago at least is RABID at prosecuting people with guns. maybe the feds don’t pick up the ball, but we have had mandatory penitentiary time in place for first time offenders merely possessing a firearm for over 2 years now. i have not seen anyone get anything OTHER than a prison sentence if they had a gun or committed a crime while having a gun. so as much as the federal prosecution might be lacking, at least in chicago and cook county, they will and DO imprison any and everyone who has a gun. no ifs ands or buts. the sentences might be as little as a year, but more often, between 6 and 30 years in the penitentiary. add to that that if you have 2 previous convictions for a gun case and / or drugs (and others) you are looking at a mandatory 6-30 year sentence, and if you have 2 previous class x convictions, then you are looking at mandatory life in prison. guns in chicago and guns in cook county are the single biggest driving force behind heavy handed police tactics that make most residents of especially the most crime ridden neighborhoods fear and distrust the police. add to that the lack of otherwise law abiding individuals from possessing a firearm in public, and the mix you get, is murder capital of america. aka ChIraq

    • Too bad you guys suck at catching any criminals in the first place. You can prosecute all day long, but when you’re batting 1 for 100 it doesn’t do much good.

  10. That map is ‘a picture worth a thousand words’. Overlay it with another, that deals with second amendment rights, and i think you’ll find a few similarities 🙂

    Here’s an idea for ‘common sense’ gun laws… how about you crank up the minimum required sentences for those convicted of violent crime involving the use of a firearm?!?!?!

    I know it’s a bit unrealistic, it would be decried racist the second of it’s proposal.

    Take the evil among us, and punish them. Make an example. It worked in the past, and it will work now. Hammurabi will tell you all about it.

    But, then… what would i know? I’m just a bible-clinging, woman-hating, snaggletooth racist rich old white guy. I’m even a member of the terrorist organization known as the “NRA” who’s only purpose in life is to screw over the 99%, kill minorities, and defenseless children.

    Actually, however… that’s all a lie. The only real reason I own a child/minority bfg9000 super atomic assault rifle, is because I have to compensate for my small item 🙁 …. woe is me

  11. America needs less guns, more gun laws, regulations… or when someone threatens your life you can shoot them dead. Like others have said, if you would rather criminals kill you fine, don’t lay that on us though. I don’t think this is a fight they should have started, Randy

  12. The words are there on the paper, so that must mean everyone in that location is doing what they say. That is actually their thesis right there. Which is frightening, I can’t really think of any other governing body in human history that has ever been that stupid. In Rome you were not allowed weapons in the city, not even soldiers. Don’t ever doubt if you walked around there you would have seen plenty of togas heavy on the left side.


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