Milwaukee Gun Store Voluntarily Reports Purchasers to Police


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Bartholomew Roberts
August 3, 2012, 09:40 AM
On the one hand, it is interesting to see a gun store impose its own requirement that it will not sell firearms to people unless they receive proper training. I really do not have much of a problem on that.

On the other hand, the report that since 2009, the gun store (formerly Badger Guns, now Brew City Shooters Supply) has been reporting everyone who purchases a gun to the local police department is one I find a bit disturbing. Apparently the local police made the decision to run their own separate background check on every one of those 25,000 purchasers (resulting in 47 investigations and a handful of cases referred for prosecution).

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/west-allis-gun-shop-resumes-selling-weapons-under-membership-model-k9696q4-164054036.html

Ironically, despite the cooperation the previous owner (brother of the current owner) had his FFL recommended for revocation in 2011 for violations of federal law. And despite the ongoing cooperation, the Milwuakee Police Chief Edward Flynn publically denounced the owner.

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Sam1911
August 3, 2012, 09:48 AM
Ironically, despite the cooperation the previous owner (brother of the current owner) had his FFL recommended for revocation in 2011 for violations of federal law. And despite the ongoing cooperation, the Milwuakee Police Chief Edward Flynn publically denounced the owner.

GOOD. Nice to see the snakes bite the hand of the panderers.

X-Rap
August 3, 2012, 10:00 AM
I can't see a reason in the world I would ever go to that store. They have set a poor precedent by what appears to be volunteering their patrons names for background checks for range use and "membership" alone.
If they were such an outlet for dirty guns why were they not prosecuted? If straw purchases were made for felons then why were there not arrests?
This is the business model for the Big Brother anti gun store IMO.
I wonder who administers their knowledge of guns and proficiency test?

holdencm9
August 3, 2012, 10:44 AM
I used to live right near there, and believe me, they got slammed over and over in the news (back when they were Badger guns) and something like 3/4 of the straw purchases in the area were traced back to Badger Guns and a cop was killed with a gun there and 6 others wounded.

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/80518507.html

So, not saying I agree with what they are doing NOW, but given their history and the PR nightmare they have faced, I can at least understand WHY they are doing it.

I lived a few blocks away from there for 4 years and never once stepped my foot inside, opting instead to go to the shooter's shop in West Allis. If that tells you anything about their previous reputation.

holdencm9
August 3, 2012, 10:50 AM
Also, I think you mis-read the part about the Police Chief denouncing the owner. That was referring to the OLD owner, as evidenced here from the article:

After two Milwaukee officers were shot with a gun sold by Badger Guns a month earlier, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn publicly blasted the store's owner, accusing him of doing little to prevent straw sales. A sting by Milwaukee police revealed felons going to the store and using the range to practice shooting. Flynn has not commented on the new ownership.

CoRoMo
August 3, 2012, 12:56 PM
To buy a gun at Brew City, the customer must become a member of the store, showing knowledge of guns and proficiency in shooting, according to Mike Allan. If they do not have that knowledge or skill, they must take a class.
I wonder what standard they are using to determine if a customer meets their requirements. It would suck if you are required to pay for that membership, purchase their ammo and pay them for a rental gun in order to demonstrate your skill in front of them. And of course, if that didn't cut it, pay them for the class they offer. I guess that wouldn't suck for the store.

It would especially suck for a mother, buying a gift for her child, to have to plop down money and time so that she can demonstrate her skill or to later take a class, just so she can purchase a gun that she has no intention of using.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 3, 2012, 01:07 PM
Also, I think you mis-read the part about the Police Chief denouncing the owner. That was referring to the OLD owner, as evidenced here from the article:

After two Milwaukee officers were shot with a gun sold by Badger Guns a month earlier, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn publicly blasted the store's owner, accusing him of doing little to prevent straw sales. A sting by Milwaukee police revealed felons going to the store and using the range to practice shooting. Flynn has not commented on the new ownership.

The voluntarily reporting the names of firearms purchasers has been going on since 2009 according to the news report. The old owner had his FFL revoked and Badger Guns (old store) closed December 31, 2011, according to the report. So Badger Guns (the old owner) had been cooperating by voluntarily giving the names of firearms purchasers to police; but they still got their FFL revoked and still got publically denounced despite the cooperation.

It struck me because if you'll recall, several of the stores cooperating with BATF on Project Gunrunner initiatives (Fast and Furious being one of those) got the same treatment. They were told by ATF to sell guns to suspected felons on one hand, and then someone at ATF releases trace data in violation of the Tiarht Act to the Washington Post so that these same dealers who were cooperating with the ATF get lambasted in public for being a source of crime guns.

This kind of struck me the same way. Here the previous owner is voluntarily giving up all of his legal purchase information to police so additional background checks besides NICS can be run and the police are calling press conferences to denounce him.

Certaindeaf
August 3, 2012, 01:17 PM
Here in Oregon, the wackjobs wanted all ccw holders names and addresses made public and came close to doing so. If memory serves, you can/have to opt out or notify the issuing agency to have your name not made public. Yea, that's concealed.. not.

holdencm9
August 3, 2012, 02:38 PM
The voluntarily reporting the names of firearms purchasers has been going on since 2009 according to the news report. The old owner had his FFL revoked and Badger Guns (old store) closed December 31, 2011, according to the report. So Badger Guns (the old owner) had been cooperating by voluntarily giving the names of firearms purchasers to police; but they still got their FFL revoked and still got publically denounced despite the cooperation.

Again, I think you are mis-reading it. Not your fault. The article is laid out weird and makes the timeline confusing. But the first several paragraphs after "Chief praises efforts" are about the West Milwaukee Police Chief and his new relations with the new ownership.

Then it says "this is a contrast to Badger guns..."

Then it says "the changes made in 2006..."

Then it says "

Nasci said since late 2009, he has run more than 25,000 names

Read these:

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/111331174.html

On June 9, 2009, Norberg and Kunisch were shot at close range by 18-year-old Julius Burton on Milwaukee's south side. A month earlier at Badger Guns, Jacob Collins, 21, bought the gun for Burton, who was too young to purchase the Taurus .40-caliber handgun himself.

The (2) officer shooting occurred in June 2009, which led to Flynn's public denouncement, which led to this:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/badger-guns-to-surrender-license-police-say-132048768.html

After two Milwaukee polices officers were shot in mid-2009, Flynn ordered an operation outside of Badger Guns. Officers discovered that felons frequented Badger Guns, with some even practicing on the shooting range, which is against the law. Federal law does not require gun shops to run background checks on people using gun ranges.

Police also found evidence of straw buying, where guns are sold through someone with a clean record to felons and others prohibited from buying them. In response, Allan posted a sign in front of the store calling the Milwaukee police racist.

Following disclosures of what was going on at Badger Guns, West Milwaukee Police Chief Dennis Nasci said he visited Allan and entered in agreements to have police get more involved in operations. Since late 2009, Nasci said, Allan has voluntarily handed over paperwork of denied gun sales and allowed police to run background checks on the nearly 15,000 people who have used the range. The store also has called police to check used guns the stores buys to make sure they are not stolen.

The article linked in the OP makes it unclear, but I don't think Flynn has bashed them SINCE 2009 when they started cooperating. And he definitely did not bash them since the new ownership. Although there was this:

In response to Adam Allan's comment that he is getting out of the gun-selling business, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn issued the statement: "I'll believe it when I see it."

Bartholomew Roberts
August 3, 2012, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the clarification. Those last two articles help flesh out the story a little better.

Jinx D'jinn
August 3, 2012, 05:46 PM
I live quite close to this range and have used it exactly once. Will not do so again.
When one uses the range you must fill out a form with name, address and driver's license number.
A friend who is a LEO told me that the local PD peruses these forms and runs checks on range users.
The range was poorly ventilated with marginal equipment (it is an indoor range). It was quite impersonal and not very inviting.
As indicated in earlier posts this range is in a very urban area and attracts gun users from all over the city so at one time it was not uncommon to have people quite ignorant of safe shooting using the lanes.
I understand the new managers are doing their best to encourage a more resposible clientel but I don't like the idea of being scrutinized by the local PD simply for using the range.
They have no guns on display and little rooms off to the side. A friend told me it was like buying jewlery. This is hearsay and not my personal knowledge as I've never bought a gun from them.
Instead of driving a mile or so to this range I drive about 20 miles away to a place where people know you and greet you, they have a nice selection of new and used guns (although the prices are kind of high). An excellent stable of rental guns (although some of them are sometimes in kind of rough shape) and an observation lounge where regulars often gather to sit around, drink coffee and soda and swap stories (and advice no one ever listens to).
Sort of like "Cheers The Gun Shop" without the alcohol.:D

Gato MontÚs
August 3, 2012, 06:38 PM
they have a nice selection of new and used guns (although the prices are kind of high)

Welcome to Southeastern Wisconsin brother, where we pay damn near MSRP on USED firearms!!!:barf:

Shooter's in Caledonia IS a nice range with the cheapest per hour rate of all the indoors in the area. I have to disagree with you on Badger/Brew City, as I've never been swept at their range while shooters I see people walking around with their fingers on the trigger, yukking it up with friends as they sweep the whole firing line. There rental selection is pretty nice and they are always friendly however.

I was a tad bit unhappy with the news of the background checks at Badger/Brew City. Unlike other users in the area, I found their range to be the best (nothing's ever broken, unlike another close range where you're lucky to get a bay with BOTH working lights and target carrier). They were never really up front about it; never explicitly stated and whether or not we'd like to proceed, so I can see where people would be upset about it. I've been registered for this or that so many times with various law enforcement agencies in our area, whether it be gun related or not, I really don't care anymore.

For any interested, the membership is a whopping 25 dollars, and the test consists of a written portion as well as a live fire demonstration at ten yards. Nothing serious or hard, just enough of a road bump to keep potential straw buyers out of the game. No guns are in the cases now but only because they just got their license back. They will be refilled in time

armoredman
August 3, 2012, 07:58 PM
The kicker is this,
allowed police to run background checks on the nearly 15,000 people who have used the range.

If anyone had come to the range I worked at in Tucson and had told us were were going to hand over the names, addresses, etc., of people who were just using the range, my little powerhouse boss would've grabbed them by the ear, and shoved the attached head somewhere disgusting.
I saw on the Wisconsin Carry site that the range does NOT tell people that using the range wins them a free trip to background check land, and a permanent position in a police file somewhere - I wouldn't think for a moment that the records the PD have been given have been destroyed.
That would infuriate me if I was a customer, and I wonder if this place will still be in business by the end of the month - I hope not.

Prince Yamato
August 3, 2012, 10:40 PM
How is this legal? This would imply that they're turning over info from 4473s, no? That's not something of public record.

Birch Knoll
August 3, 2012, 10:45 PM
How is this legal? This would imply that they're turning over info from 4473s, no? That's not something of public record.

What would make it illegal?

planetmobius
August 3, 2012, 11:10 PM
This couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer guys. A couple of years ago Badger Guns was given the title of #1 in the selling of guns used in Milwaukee crimes. To rub everyone's noses in it, Badger put out a huge sign that said, "WE'RE # 1". These guys went out of their way to give gun shops a bad name. After that they were highly scrutinized and found to have done a number of blatant straw purchases. Now they are in the trick bag and making all kinds of concessions to stay in business. In my opinion, it would have been better for us all for it to have been shut down.

SharpsDressedMan
August 4, 2012, 07:38 AM
It's just an obvious way to keep BATF of their backs.

Davek1977
August 4, 2012, 07:50 AM
I'd much rather a shop close their doors than pander to the government just to stay in business. Nice guys or not, they have done a monumental disservice to their clientele and the greater gun rights movement as a whole.

drsfmd
August 4, 2012, 08:48 AM
When one uses the range you must fill out a form with name, address and driver's license number.
Standard stuff required by the insurance companies.


A friend who is a LEO told me that the local PD peruses these forms and runs checks on range users.

*THIS* isn't. Not cool... without a warrant, they shouldn't be touching those forms.

gym
August 4, 2012, 10:32 AM
It sounds like a call to the ACLU is in order. If they want to run a private club, then thsy should have to post it. It sounds like they made a deal to stay open.

GAF
August 4, 2012, 11:21 AM
I use to live in Milwaukee. My first impression of the place the first time I ever went in was that they were very unfriendly. The last time I was in Brew City shooters supply I noticed the same unfriendly attitude.

From what I was reading I thought they voluntarily gave up their FFL.

I also think there were 2 suicides at their range.

barnbwt
August 4, 2012, 11:35 AM
Apparently the local police made the decision to run their own separate background check on every one of those 25,000 purchasers (resulting in 47 investigations and a handful of cases referred for prosecution).


I wonder how many (any?) of these cases are even gun-related, or if these checks just turned up people with warrants at their new address...

TCB

SharpsDressedMan
August 4, 2012, 04:15 PM
Make a sign about it and stand out front for a couple hours on a Saturday morning, warning prospective shooters. See what type of response you get. As long as you stay on the sidewalk/tree lawn, etc, you should be legal. They will freak out. When they come out to talk, tell them you are open to discussing them discontinuing the practice, but that you are also open to rallying others to continue the protest, and that it has just begun. Tell them you are willing to devote your free time to pointing out what they are doing, and it will make them look bad. Some of the stuff that empowered the protestors in the 1960's still works quite well.

X-Rap
August 4, 2012, 04:49 PM
Get the facts, make sure of the facts and then buy some space in the local paper and post on some regional shooting websites. See if they have some kind of social media page and post the same there.
IMO a shop that jumps in bed with the anti gun city admin and submits personal info without permission deserves to be shut down by their customers.

armoredman
August 5, 2012, 07:18 PM
"Originally Posted by Jinx D'jinn
When one uses the range you must fill out a form with name, address and driver's license number."
Standard stuff required by the insurance companies.
We never required it. We carded those who looked underage, but the only thing they had to fill out was to sign the liability waiver.

Gato MontÚs
August 14, 2012, 12:08 AM
I don't know if anyone still cares, but it looks like the unveiling of that practice has brought a wave of scorn from their customers (good) and are ceasing to give over any info.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/shooting-range-stops-giving-police-users-names-136ftg2-166048176.html

Jinx D'jinn
August 14, 2012, 09:36 AM
"These selfish rabble rousers went to such lengths to tarnish me, that through hate mail and intimidation they were able to get the House of Harley to back out of my charitable event for the Wounded Warrior Project," Allan wrote on the Brew City Shooters website.

Ok, if you think I'm a selfish rabble rouser then you won't want my money. I shall accomodate you sir by never setting foot in your store again. I shall also make sure every shooter I know hears about this deplorable attitude.
It would also be nice to hear a heartfelt apology for what this guy has done but I won't hold my breath.
When coupled with his public attitude I'd be most inclined to think that his Wounded Warriors event was more for the publicity he could get and the traffic it would drive to the store than a genuine concern for our troops, past and present.
However I will concede I might be wrong and shall watch his future actions.
I would offer to the owner of Brew City Shooters Supply; I'm sure the scrutiny of the local police departments was uncomfortable. I suspect you will find the scrutiny of the local shooting community even more uncomfortable.

Jamie B
August 14, 2012, 10:24 PM
The shop owner, like everyone else, reaped what he had sown.

I am pleased that he got his so quickly!

Sometimes, it is nice to read a story like this, and just smile!! :D

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