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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today issued the following statement [via].

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.

New Study Shows Criminals Don’t Get Guns from Legal Sources
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.

About NSSFChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (courtesy

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

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  1. Rakm is about as vile as cuomo. The whole point of this is to make it more burdensome for law aboding gun owners. Its a feature, not a bug. You cant reason with him or anyone else in the political machine known as chiraq. The truly dont give a f*ck about your opinion.
    Cant wait to move out of this state.

  2. Justice reform, aka catch and release or just release, is something of an article of faith among our donkey friends. Given this, one can’t really expect them to embrace keeping violent people behind bars as a method for reducing violence in society.

  3. Straw purchases could be greatly reduced by making the “middleman” equally responsible for any mischief the buyer gets into, both criminally and civilly. Straw purchasers threaten our rights to a much greater extent than any gun control groups do. Their carelessness can ultimately turn the majority of Americans against us.

    • They are responsible, but rarely prosecuted. There was that cop who bought a cut rate Glock for his uncle using the uncle’s money who was convicted of perjury for lying on the 4473 (saying he was the actual buyer), which would not have happened had he used his own money and then sold the gun to his uncle. Went all the way to the Supreme Court, where he lost. Lost everything really–that felony cost him his right to keep and bear arms and his job.

    • Two and a half years ago, an Omaha police officer was shot to death by a felon she and her partners in the gang unit were attempting to arrest. The felon had persuaded a girl friend in another state to buy a handgun for him from an FFL dealer. She was convicted in federal court for the straw purchase but was sentenced only to probation. That kind of slap on the wrist does nothing to discourage straw purchases.

    • “Straw purchase” laws only serve to enforce background check laws. Can anybody show me some evidence that background check laws have had any positive effects on *CRIME*? Remember crime? Supposedly that is the goal, and I have never seen a clue as to why we shouldn’t drop them completely and go back to prosecuting actual crime. Just to demonstrate the stupidity, though, please recall that the cop referenced above bought that gun for his uncle, who was not a prohibited person and could have bought the gun himself, *only* crime was straw purchase.

  4. Except of course that Chicago no longer has the strictest gun laws in the country. After McDonald, it mostly lost its home rule power with state pre-emption. The laws banning ownership of handguns are history, and “shall issue” CCWs are the law of the land. Rahm has only been successful in banning them on public transit.

  5. Seems to me most folks here have it just backwards.

    First, this “prohibited person” list makes absolutely no distinction between actual violent criminals and the other 99% who have merely annoyed their government masters by tripping over some mala prohibita “law” or other. Why do all of these people suddenly become ineligible to exercise their right to self defense with the most effective tool? They “MIGHT” decide to do harm, but so could anyone else in the general population.

    And they “MIGHT” choose to do that harm with a box of matches, a gallon of gasoline, a baseball bat, etc. If the “prohibited persons” list means anything at all, why only for guns? If it “works,” why not prohibit those same people from buying anything else they might use to harm others?

    Second, the exact same thing could be said of the “straw purchase” thing. Why only guns? If preventing it for guns is actually meaningful, why not matches, gas, etc.?

    The most rational and productive response to a lethal attack of any kind is the death of the aggressor at the hands of his/her intended victim, and/or others around them. Then all of those who are NOT the problem can go about their business with the option to defend themselves as well.

    Pre-crime punishment efforts are not only irrational, they are ineffective while denying the natural rights of so many. Epic fail.

    • Mama,

      Every day it becomes increasingly clear to me that people who think like you and I do are exceedingly rare.

      Your post accurately and completely sums up the state of affairs and the total and utter ludicrousness of our current “justice” system.

      I think the heart of the matter always comes down to the fact that we’ve all been brought up and conditioned to believe that we don’t have to take care of ourselves and that the right thing to do is farm out responsibilities to others – with “others” typically being government. Even ardent believers and supporters of the 2nd amendment can have significant blinders on when comes to other aspects of freedom and liberty.

      • Amen, my friend…

        I think that this terrible state of affairs is clearly related to the idea so many people have that the “government” actually has legitimate authority to control their lives and property, even when they don’t exactly approve of the methods or people involved.

        When people accept their natural, inborn authority over themselves and their families… exactly the same natural authority to carry a gun or defend themselves by any other means… then they can fully grasp the idea of self responsibility and self government. The only rational kind.

        • And what’s even more amusing is that people who espouse the ideas and solutions that we do often get mocked or called “pants on head retarded” because we believe that people can live together peacefully, cooperate and not need “government”. They assume that means lawlessness.

          But yet we have many examples the world over of communities that work and function in peace in many ways in spite of government intrusions not because of them. The free market, when allowed to be free, brings peoples of all different countries and cultures together peacefully in the hopes of bringing exchange of goods, services and wealth voluntarily. Government only corrupts this process and totally screws it up!

          And then we read the history books and all we see is regime after regime stealing, killing, pillaging, raping, causing misery and death…and then we turn around and say we “need” that? That it’s “essential”? That it’s “legitimate”?

          Who has their pants on their head exactly???


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