New York Times
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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By Larry Keane

When The New York Times tells America they publish “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” what they’re really saying is that it’s only the news that fits their narrative.

The New York Times ran a recent piece that attempted to broad-brush the entire firearm community as trying to do everything possible to literally get the ceiling to cave in on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The article headlined ‘How the A.T.F., Key to Biden’s Gun Plan, Became the NRA Whipping Boy,’ used an anecdote of the floor collapsing, allegedly due to the weight of stacked paper investigations, at the ATF’s national gun-tracing center.

The article was published just weeks before the U.S. Senate is to hold a confirmation hearing on President Joe Biden’s nominee for ATF director – David Chipman. The article is full of President Biden’s gun control ideas and the undercurrent is that the firearm industry must be brought to heel.

Giffords David Chipman ATF director
Biden ATF Director nominee David Chipman (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

According to this article, that’s Chipman’s job, the same guy who was a paid gun control lobbyist for Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords group, by whom he is still currently employed. The article points out that Giffords began lobbying President Biden shortly after the election to nominate Chipman to be ATF director.

In the communications game, this is what’s called “inoculation theory.” It works just like getting a vaccination. The Times gives readers just enough information to spark a reaction and instill a predetermined thought to arise when the full-blown infection comes along.

Except, The New York Times was highly selective in their reporting. That wasn’t an accident or oversight and it sure wasn’t due to publication space. It was purposeful.

Accusations vs. Truth

The Times accused the “gun lobby” of blocking ATF modernizations and director confirmations. Both claims are wildly inaccurate. There hasn’t been a Senate-confirmed director at the ATF since B. Todd Jones resigned in 2015. It’s not true, however, that the “gun lobby” has blocked nominations.

b. todd jones
Fromer ATF Director B. Todd Jones (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

NSSF supported the nomination of Michael Sullivan in 2007, when the position first required Senate confirmation. He was acting director and nominated for the permanent role by President George W. Bush. NSSF also supported the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee, B. Todd Jones who was confirmed by the Senate and NSSF supported the nomination of Chuck Canterbury in 2017.

Accusations that the “gun lobby” is keeping ATF “outgunned” and outdated are flatly false. NSSF has worked with Congress to successfully provide resources to increase funding and staffing for both the ATF and the FBI, which runs the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

NSSF was leading the effort to transition the ATF from the stacks of paperwork The New York Times demonized to a modernized e-Forms system. It was the NSSF that urged ATF to adopt an electronic Form 4473 and to allow industry members to maintain electronic records including in the cloud.  Our work to provide ATF (and NICS) with improved resources continues.

A fully-functioning and staffed ATF and FBI-NICS is what the firearm industry needs, especially when it comes to clearing out backlogs that plague firearm sales. Last year, during the height of the gun sale surge, it was NSSF that was fighting to get more resources directed to keep up with background checks.

Ed Markey
Rep. Ed Markey (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Congressional Democrats, led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding the FBI break the law and not process background checks. The reason: there were a lot and it could be overwhelming. Instead of asking Director Wray if resources were needed, Sen. Markey wanted the system to crash.

ATF Cooperation

The New York Times writes about friction between the ATF and the “gun lobby” because the idea of conflict between the regulatory and law enforcement agency and the industry it regulates sounds intriguing. It sells papers. The truth is, well…a little more boring.

There’s a good relationship between the ATF and NSSF. There are long-standing partnerships with common goals that prove this.

For more than 20 years, the ATF and NSSF have partnered to prevent illegal firearm straw purchases. It’s a campaign called Don’t Lie for the Other Guy. NSSF also matches ATF reward offers when firearms are stolen from retailers to bring those criminals to justice and recover those firearms before they can be criminally misused.

That’s been ongoing for years and was recently made a pillar of the latest cooperative effort called Operation Secure Store. That’s a partnership between ATF and NSSF to raise awareness within the firearm retailer community and voluntarily improve and enhance security at firearm retailers to prevent and deter thefts and robberies. These are part of the firearm industry’s Real Solutions. Safer Communities. campaign.

That’s the truth. Had the Times’ reporters bothered to contact NSSF, they would have learned the truth. But, despite its motto, The New York Times only prints the news that supports its gun control agenda.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.



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  1. as if there wasn’t enough reason to be distrustful of the nssf’s motives.

  2. The New York Times: Half-Truths and Omissions in Service of its Anti-Gun Agenda…

    So, NOW we know where Miner got his training… OR, maybe he works there?

  3. BATF = “Buro von Alkohol, Tabak, Fuerwaffen, und Boom-Boom”.
    The agency that is so inept that (true story) when gun manufacturers sent them a sample of a new gun for approval, the BATF sent it back as a shoebox full of loose parts because they couldn’t figure out how to reassemble it! Sure, some first-time gun buyers have also struggled to reassemble their first gun (before finally resorting to checking the owner’s manual or YouTube videos), but the BATF is supposed to hire gun experts.

    • but the BATF is supposed to hire gun experts.

      Who told you that? Prime requisite is breathing Homo Sapien, second is willingness to blindly and without question follow orders, third is at least fourth grade level reading and math comprehension skills, fourth is the ability to fill out Government forms… No knowledge of guns, booze, explosives OR tobaccos is necessary…

  4. “It was the NSSF that urged ATF to adopt an electronic Form 4473 and to allow industry members to maintain electronic records including in the cloud.”

    Equifax, Target, Ashley Madison, Yahoo, Office of Personnel Management, LinkedIn, eBay, Adult Friend Finder, Marriott, Adobe, Zynga, … I could go on & on for days.

    More recently, GiveSendGo:

    So don’t worry, storing forms 4473 electronically in the ‘cloud’ is perfectly safe. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton & Justin Verlander, Kaley Cuoco, Kirsten Dunst, McKayla Maroney, and many others on their approval and satisfaction of ‘cloud storage & security.’

    • ” Just ask Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton & Justin Verlander, Kaley Cuoco, Kirsten Dunst, McKayla Maroney, and many others on their approval and satisfaction of ‘cloud storage & security.’”

      Anyone stupid enough (Like my little troll! 🙂 ) to store their masturbation videos in ‘the cloud’ deserves to get them hacked and spread far and wide.

      And that’s *exactly* what happened… (As my troll knows. 🙂 )…

  5. American journalists and newspaper editors, especially those who are anti-gun and socialist, historically and collectively, are the worst masters of deceit that exist! They remain professional “deceitful liars!”

  6. Wow! This article is so reminiscent of when the NRA bragged about their gun control bona fides, American Rifleman March 1968, it’s sick. Nice of NSSF to provide a long list of why they should not be trusted though.

  7. The NSSF is a fudd organization and funds the government agencies who enforce victimless crime laws like gun control. Screw the nssf they support background checks as well. Well screw the traditional gun industry that rolls over with every lousy gun law passed.

  8. The publication that was a knowing, willing, and active participant in literal genocide and refuses to give up the Pulitzer it was “awarded” for it is lying? I’m shocked! Shocked! Well not that shocked.

  9. The NY Times can think what they want about my opinion.

    The Constitution does not authorize the existence of the ATF, so it is a null and void agency.

    I will do whatever I can Constitutionally to thwart all activity of this illegal agency.

  10. Ok, after reading the article above, and seeing the byline, the first thing that came to mind was this little boy:

    The citizens do not want the gun industry to work with the ATF. They want the ATF to go away, as well as the enabling other gun contol legislation and regulations. We kinda think the gun industry should support the Constitution and citizens, rather than the gun regulation industry.

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