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One of the NRA’s constant refrains: we don’t need new gun control laws. We need to enforce existing gun laws to take dangerous criminals off the streets. It’s a complaint that doesn’t get much attention in the mainstream media. or much credit when it does. Well here’s a story that proves the point. And how. “In an open records request to the Milwaukee Police Department, Media Trackers requested information on all MPD police reports forwarded to the DA’s office with the recommended charge of ‘Possession of a Firearm by a Felon’ – a felony under current law — during June, July and August of 2013. What Media Trackers found was that nearly half of those cases referred to the DA’s office by the MPD were never charged. Of the 142 cases recommended for charges by the MPD between June and August of last summer . . .

Media Trackers was unable to locate any charge related to illegally possessing a firearm in 68 of those cases – a stunning 47.8% of the time.

In at least one case, Milwaukee DA John Chisholm’s office refused to charge a suspect with possession of a firearm as a felon in 2013 only to have the man charged with first degree intentional homicide a year later . . .

Keithany M. Brodie was recommended for charges of possessing a firearm as a felon in the summer of 2013 and was never charged according to WCCA [Wisconsin Circuit Court Access] records. A year later, Brodie was charged with first degree intentional homicide and robbery after police say he murdered a man in an attempted robbery. Interestingly, Chisholm’s office has finally charged Brodie with possession of a firearm as a felon – but only in connection with the murder.

WCCA records show between 2007 and 2011 Brodie was found guilty of at least two felonies, three misdemeanors and was even convicted of illegally carrying a concealed weapon in 2007. Yet Brodie was back on the streets in time to be arrested by police in 2013 for illegally possessing a firearm and to later be arrested for an alleged murder in 2014.

Can it get worse? Of course it can.

The underlying problem may be the DA office’s concern over their win-loss record. Media Trackers found that of the 56 cases that have been disposed of, just seven went to trial with only one person being found not guilty. The vast majority of cases – 71 percent – ended in a plea agreement.

In June a Media Trackers investigation showed that the Milwaukee DA’s office was far from overzealous in their prosecution of homicides, relying heavily on plea bargains and putting those charged in prison for just a fraction of what they were eligible for.

Is this dismal record restricted to Milwaukee, Wisconsin? What are the odds? And what are gun control advocates doing to make sure that dangerous criminals – with guns! – are taken off the streets? Nothing. In fact, the men responsible for this lack of enforcement, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn [above], are lobbying for a state law mandating a 3-year jail sentence for illegal firearms possession. 

Stats like this reveal that gun control advocates’ entire premise – that restricting criminal access to firearms will reduce violent crime – is, at best, misdirected. At worst, it’s something far more sinister. As if you didn’t already know.

[h/t BC]

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  1. Who has time to prosecute these kinds of things? There is a John Doe investigation into Walker and Conservative groups to focus on…

    • Well, a DA has to have priorities when his union shop steward wifey-poo is all upset that she has to contribute to her health insurance and pension for the first time ever. Plus being in union administration that “make the union collect the dues themselves “instead of having the employer do it, threatens poor puddin’s future ability to take a PHATTER salary while doing nothing to help the rank and file union members.

      His best defense would be that the judges here would never sentence to significant jail time anyway, but he believes in the same social justice crap the judges do.

      Long and short, Milwaukee is not safe. The judges, DA, DA’s office, and local pols have the criminals’ back, not the law abiding citizens and especially not any victims of crime.

  2. To me, this says plea bargains should be prohibited, along with the amazingly long lists of “incidental” charges that get added so you have something lower to plead to.

    You either have the evidence to convince a jury of peers to convict, or you don’t.

    • Get ready to increases taxes by fourfold to cover the cost that will arise from holding trials in lieu of all those plea agreements.

      • Nonsense. Lynch some libtard bov’t lawyers. A shyster becomes a gov’t attorney because to stupid or lazy to go into a real practice. Thin the herd. There are more lawyers hanging around than society needs anyhow so create a new crop of DAs who will have a clue.

      • Hannibal is correct. It has nothing to do with the number of lawyers, and everything to do with not enough judges, court rooms and jurors to try the massive number of criminal cases that are filed pretty much everywhere. In my little corner of Northern California, six of the nine counties in my area had only one judge when I started practicing here, and the three with more than one had case loads that called for the addition of from three to six judges. In Los Angeles County, the average time to trial for a civil case was five years because there were so many criminal cases (that have a statutory priority) ahead of them. Nothing has changed, although judges have been added. The simple fact is that the legal system–the courts–are entirely reliant on the vast majority of cases settling prior to trial, without which the system would come to a shuddering halt. Add in the constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial, and hundreds of thousands of criminal cases would be dismissed.

        As I recall, the cost per judge, including salaries of the judge, clerk court reporter, research attorneys, cost of the courtrooms and security, is about $1.5 million per year. That dos not include the $30,000 per year (or more) per inmate to run the jails and prisons, and that does not include the cost of new prison facilities to house a massive increase in the prison population if all charged were convicted of at least some offense.

  3. Has it ever crossed anyone’s mind that a lot of this stuff is “criminal justice system theater”?

    Think about it. If police, prosecutors, courts, and politicians do a horrible job it is job security.

    • Yes; have had that thought many times.

      Factor in Asset Forfeiture and you get to add in financial motivation to whatever personal power and political motivations might be present.

  4. I suspect it’s the same in Chicago, if not worse. Anita Alvarez makes it crystal clear that she doesn’t like firearms in private hands, but her State’s Attorney’s office frequently doesn’t pursue the weapons charges they should.

    The folks over at may be able to shed more light on this.

    • +1 Avid Reader. I believe Chicago may be the WORST for large metropolitan areas as far as prosecuting gun crimes. Just last week a 17year old raped a pregnant college student and threw her in a car trunk. He had an electronic monitors on his ankle even though he did a very similar crime at GUNPOINT a few months earlier. God help me I agree with Garry McCarthy-mr.streetlight. He whines constantly about lack of enforcement. And everyone knows who commits the vast majority of gun crime…

  5. First, repeal the blatantly corrupt and bad gun laws. For example NY’s “Safe” act and Connecticut’s PA13-3.

    Second, reduce the 20,000 + gun laws and have some simple, understandable, enforceable law replace it. Or better yet, address the root causes that guns are blamed for.

    • ^ This.

      I don’t want to “enforce existing gun laws.” For the most part, the only thing I want to do with existing gun laws is repeal them.

      I would agree to reasonable restrictions on where and when guns may be fired, especially in urban areas, and certainly there should be criminal consequences for using a gun to cause unjustified death, injury or property damage. That’s it, though.

      The rest of it just needs to be tossed, not “enforced.”

  6. Fill the prisons with felons of victimless crimes. Release violent felons from prison early to ease overcrowding after reduced sentencing due to plea agreements. Violent felons perpetrate, well, more violence. The cycle repeats. The cry babies cry and its the NRAs/law abiding gun owners fault.

    Ignore the elephant in the room. GUNS!11!&$!3=

  7. If there was ever a ‘loophole’ then plea bargaining a firearms charge is it. Plea bargains should NEVER be an option when criminal use of a firearm is involved.

  8. John Lott offers some insight into the efficacy of background checks and the concept of “prohibited persons” as far as that method of keeping guns out of the hands of felons.

    “And, if you actually look at the cases that they prosecute, they’re almost zero. In 2010, there was 76,000 initial denials. The government brought prosecution against 44 and won convictions in 13 of the 76,000 cases. That’s not 13,000; that’s not 1300. That’s 13 out of 76,000 initial denials.”

    —John Lott
    Ballistic Radio Interview, 4.14/2014


    So, Milwaukee DA is not the only one playing loose with the stated goal of “keep guns out of the hands of felons” firearms laws.

    It’s all related: pass a law you sell to the public as “this will make you safer,” don’t enforce it, then lobby for “more laws are needed to make you safer.”

    And with such new laws, the list of prohibited persons gets longer and the mechanisms they can apply enforcement get broader…all the while, the truly violent continue to be largely unaffected.

    Vicious cycle indeed…

  9. I did a stint working in a court in Canada 15 years ago. Unless the case was notorious, most Crown Attorneys were happy to take a plea of First Degree Manslaughter instead of trying a Second Degree Murder case. In other cases, they would charge Manslaughter where murder was clearly called for because of the difficulty of proving intent to the standard required. Party it’s gutless prosecutors, but it’s also limited budgets and benches full of liberal judges who don’t really want to lock up “disadvantaged youts”. Why blow your budget and your weekends working on a case where, even if you eke out a conviction, results in time served + probation?

  10. All the while CA, NY, MA, MD, CT, and NJ pass more restrictive laws to keep their citizens “safe.” They become the shining beacons of what “common sense laws” look like so that others can say, “We need to follow their example and do the same.” It’s a disturbing trend that seemed to spread like a disease. Fortunately, most states have been standing up to the gun grabbers. It’s getting tougher in those states where the foothold is firm.

  11. This is a point I have been making for 40 years. Leftards do not want to enforce existing laws, they want more and more layers of new laws on top of what is already on the books. Fact is they will refuse to enforce the new ones just as they refuse to enforce those already on the books. It is all about making the legal code as convoluted and undecipherable as possible, so that EVERYBODY can be labeled a criminal.

  12. I am not for mandatory gun sentencing as I can see that hurting gun owners who get caught up as a result of gov mistakes. Besides, what good is mandatory sentencing if the prosecutor doesn’t prosecute?

    • It will all be turned into a silly game where gun owners will be charged and convicted of really stupid stuff.

  13. So why, when the Chief of Police and the MAIG-member mayor are asking for toughter sentences for possession of firearms by career criminals and for technology such as ShotSpotter, doesn’t Mike Bloomberg focus his efforts on lobbying for these changes in the law and on making grants for ShotSpotter purchases, instead of backing Milwaukee legislators who repeatedly introduce doomed-to-fail “assault weapons” and ammo ban bills?

  14. This isn’t at all surprising. If you look at history, other similar public issues like National Prohibition or the 55mph speed limit era also exhibited spotty enforcement of these supposedly “essential” laws. It seems that once laws governing lifestyles are passed, advocates are satisfied with their symbolic import and become disinterested in actual enforcement. Enforcement of lifestyle limiting laws typically become so expensive and onerous that actual enforcement tends to break down due to bureaucratic inertia, finally becoming so expensive that they are quietly ignored or repealed. Car safety advocates loudly protested the end of the 55mph era but nobody was listening.

    • I don’t know where you live but 55mph had the same enforcement as current limits everywhere I lived during the 80s-90s. Writing BS tickets is the income generating cashcow for the copshop and many a city/county/state. No such thing as a ticket quota.

  15. “Stats like this reveal that gun control advocates’ entire premise – that restricting criminal access to firearms will reduce violent crime – is, at best, misdirected. At worst, it’s something far more sinister.”

    “Gun control” has never been about preventing criminals from using firearms to commit crimes, it has always been about the ability of the ruling classes to CONTROL the honest American citizen. The way they want to achieve this is to criminalize ANY possession of firearms, thus giving them the ability to stifle any dissent and prevent any effective resistance to the destruction of our Constitution. And they call this “progressive”, meaning that they are “progressing beyond the Constitution”. Remember Obama’s comments about how the Constitution if a list of negatives, just putting limits on “what the government can do FOR you”? what really bothers the “progressives” is that they are limited in what they can do TO you – for your own good, of course! A perfect illustration of this is Michelle O’s “healthy foods for the kiddies” program, forcing public schools to serve crap that no one wants to eat and that ends up in the garbage. Do you seriously think they don’t want to exercise this kind of control on every aspect of your private life?

    If you have not done so already, read F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”.

    Our self-anointed aristocracy HATES the idea of the serfs owning guns.

    • Excellent book, never going to get it widely read. It should have been made a major component of Jr Highschool curriculum. Again, something that was never and will never happen.

  16. “In at least one case, Milwaukee DA John Chisholm’s office refused to charge a suspect with possession of a firearm as a felon in 2013 only to have the man charged with first degree intentional homicide a year later . . .”

    Yes, I understand that the felon in question could have acquired his firearm by theft, gift, straw purchase or possibly could have even made one himself. So what? I’m not arguing in favor of background checks, which I regard as useless for being easily circumvented by any of the above means or others.

    What I do argue in favor of is maintaining the ban on firearms possession by felons. Had this particular felon been prosecuted, and very likely convicted, for his initial illegal possession of a firearm in 2013, he would not have been on the streets to (allegedly) commit murder in 2014. True or false?

    A majority of violent felons (state judicial systems) have a prior conviction record. More than a third of violent felons have prior felony convictions. About one-seventh of violent felons have a conviction specifically not only for a previous felony, but for a previous violent felony. And this only counts the convictions. We already know there are many violent crimes that go unsolved. Do you really believe it’s first time offenders who are committing those? If anything, it’s probably the more experienced violent criminals; the ones savvy enough not to get caught as often.

    It really isn’t too difficult to see the pattern here, folks. A thug is a thug forever. Only the escalation of criminal career changes. Best to nab them for what we can, like firearms possession, when we can, because they’ve proven they’re inherently incapable of living peacefully in civilized society.

    • +1

      I’m a big “fan” of felon-in-possession laws because they only require proof that the felon had possession of a firearm. That’s not too hard to prove, unlike subjective elements such as intent or justification.

      • Hmmm. So, all felons are thugs? Would that include people like Martha Stewart? Or a friend of mine who fell foul of some real-estate law?

        There’s plenty of felons (and others) who are now unable to own firearms without just cause.

        • You are mistakenly conflating two apparently-related but independent aspects of felon-in-posession laws. We need to keep these separated in our own minds. Suppose there is a class of people that the law dis-arms. Whether we agree/disagree with the principle that any class of people ought to be dis-armed is neither here nor there. We argue against that law and try to get it repealed; until then, it’s the law. It logically follows that the law ought to enact a penalty for violating the law of being disarmed if you fall into this class.
          Now, then, should the law carve-out certain exceptions to the members of this class? Perhaps. And, in fact, it does. Certain white-collar felonies are already excepted. (That may be irritating us as well; but that’s a different point too.) Are there additional exceptions that ought to be carved-out? Probably. Then, we ought to argue for these exceptions; change the law to remove these sub-sets of felonies from the law.
          Still more importantly, in my opinion, is the lack of an economical and practical means of adjudicating individual meritorious cases. We certainly ought to argue for a change in the law or funding for the program that exists in the current law which the gun-controllers have de-funded.
          All the foregoing issues are important – in principle. However, they are only a few issues among many in the struggle for the RKBA. IMO, the political struggle for the hearts and minds of the non-gun-owning voters is more important than any one issue. What good does it do us to win any particular issue and lose the long-term struggle to maintain popular support for the RKBA?
          We must treat this issue very carefully for political reasons. We must not raise the specter of re-arming dangerous felons who – rightly or wrongly – are paroled or complete their sentences. We can, I believe, advance the cause of re-funding the existing provisions for case-by-case restoration of rights. We can, I believe, argue for certain specific new exemptions such as nonviolent crimes not already exempted.

  17. This line of inquiry looks like it would be most fruitful. It strikes me as though the most important question here is: What drives the DA’s decision-making process? Suppose all they really care about is negotiating a plea agreement (an over-simplification, but it might be helpful.) So, they have an armed robber. They can threaten him with the serious charge of armed robbery and offer a plea agreement of a guilty plea on simple robbery. This is a no-brainer for the DA and the criminal. On this basis, the only gun charge that would ever be prosecuted is simple illegal possession (e.g., Shaneen Allen). If the law-abiding citizen isn’t even guilty of spitting on the sidewalk while carrying a gun the DA’s only option is to pursue the gun charge.
    Wouldn’t it make sense for NRA (or someone else) to do a survey like this and find out what gun charges are pursued when:
    – the gun charge is waved for a plea on a lesser crime;
    – the gun charge is pursued along with another crime;
    – the gun charge is pursued but there is NO other crime;
    – – – the gun charge is by a prohibited person
    – – – the gun charge is by an otherwise law-abiding citizen.
    If it is very rare to pursue the gun charge when there is another crime to plea-bargain and mostly law-abiding citizens are charged – not felon-in-posession with no accompanying crime – then the public should be as angry as we are.
    It might be that the entire Criminal Justice System is oriented toward rationing cell capacity. There may be no priority whatsoever on getting criminals using guns off-the-streets. Rather, they might be interested only in maximizing some other measure such as number of people incarcerated for the first time; or drug dealers; or left-handers.
    Perhaps there is some other bias. Likely, most criminals charged with a gun crime will go for a trial by a jury of their peers. When the charge is simple possession, or armed robbery where the victim wasn’t injured, juries might be reluctant to convict. Perhaps the defendant looks a lot like the jury members’ sons. If such is the case then the DAs are facing a really tough proposition. They can-NOT waste scarce public resources trying gun cases where the jury has a high probability of nullifying indisputable evidence of a gun charge. (i.e., the problem is NOT that gun charges are hard to prove.) That same jury will nevertheless convict an OFWG because he didn’t do a BC on his neighbor before loaning him a shotgun for a hunting trip.
    If our jury system is the source of our problem then there is probably NO fix whatsoever. If the jurors in a county what to keep their gun criminals out-of-jail – and are willing to endure their eventual violent crime – than voters in other counties can’t change these jurors’ preferences. The data ought to reveal this.

  18. Most politicians write and pass laws not to be effective, but to cater to the busybodies in the public. And most busybody voters are just like the MDA cohort – older white women, looking for a cause to give them something to do other than clean kitty litter boxes.

    It’s infuriating, setting aside completely the gun issue and looking at the larger issue of civics and the rule of law in the Republic. We have a whole cohort of these noisome, busybody pecksniffs, and the politicians who cater to just these people. They’re the reason for tons of bad legislation (everything from gun control laws to Obamacare) and they’re both turned our system of government into one huge nanny state, with Uncle Sam wearing an apron and scolding like Big Mom (eat your vegetables! Sit up straight! Don’t sit so much! Don’t own guns! Drive small cars!) at the same time they’re handing out freebies to deadbeats and grifters everywhere, and doing a pretty piss-poor job at what the Constitution laid out government was supposed to do.

    • older white women, looking for a cause to give them something to do other than clean kitty litter boxes. True. We also have soccer Mommies whose kids are at school with nothing to do all day but crusade for stupid stuff.

  19. A shame that the law gives immunity to the public officials that should be protecting the citizens , might be that the perp that killed that person in the armed robbery might have been serving time for the illegal weapons charge and not killed the person , public officials should be held criminally liable for their incompetence , seems there is a good deal of difference between Sheriff David Clarke’s department and the others in law enforcement around Milwaukee . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

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