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What did Bloomberg's guys do?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Partisan Ranger, May 18, 2007.

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  1. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    As the title says, can you tell me exactly what the NYC agents did? Did the dealers do anything illegal, ie KNOWINGLY sell firearms to straw purchaser? Did the two guys walk in together, act like they knew each other, then one asked questions and the other filled out the paperwork? Did they actually tell the dealer what they were doing? If so, then the dealer(s) broke the law.

    But I don't think that is what happened because I don't see law suits going anywhere against the dealers. And you don't see Bloomberg coming out clearly saying that the dealers did this.

    My guess is that the media is willingly going along with Bloomberg's BS high-publicity stunt. They are pretending that the gun dealers are guilty of knowingly doing straw purchases. My guess is that it was not made clear during the purchase that that was what was happening.

    I think also that the dealers are just being attacked yet again for crimes committed with weapons bought at their store months or years later, for which of course the dealer is blameless. Correct me if I am wrong on any of this.
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  2. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    bump. Please answer because this is really bugging me! Thanks.
     
  3. JimmyN

    JimmyN Member

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    Bloomberg claims to have evidence that they sold firearms to straw purchasers (his private investigators), however he has never made any of this evidence available, and none of the cases have actually gone to court as far as I know.
    Plus the BATFE has not filed charges or investigated any of the gunshops Bloomberg claims are violating the law. So the BATFE doesn't seem interested in the results of his illegal sting operation.

    Most seem to think he really doesn't have anything, and merely uses his power and the money of NYC to intimidate the gunshop owners into either closing down or submitting to Bloomberg's constant auditing of their sales and business.
     
  4. Rumble

    Rumble Member

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    Yeah, I think the real answer is "we don't know," because Bloomberg & co. won't release any actual information.
     
  5. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    It seems to me he is far more interested in garnering publicity from a slobbering press than he is actually making his case. It seems really wrong to me to attack gun dealers for 'straw purchases' if they didn't do it knowingly, or attacking them because some jagoff used one of their guns in a crime a year later.

    By that logic, we should shut down a car dealer if one of their cars is later used in vehicular homicide. See my tagline below.
     
  6. flashman70

    flashman70 Member

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    My wife and I were looking for ARs last December at a show in Fredericksburg, VA. We stopped at a table with a left-handed Stag that I though would be good for her. Now, my wife doesn't know much about guns, other than she like to shoot them. So I asked questions about .223 vs 5.56 chambering, etc. of the merchant. I then asked my wife if that's the gun she wanted, and she said yes. I told her to go for it and buy it with her plastic, etc. The merchant acted VERY suspicious and proceeded to quiz my wife on her knowledge of the gun. This puzzled us both as we're middle aged, white, middle class, reputable looking and had never experienced anything like this buying a gun.

    Anyway, I show him my VA CHP and he calms down and tells us he's one of the merchants Bloomberg went after. Apparently they sent man and woman couples down, posing as married buyers, with the man asking questions about the guns and the woman ultimately paying. I guess the guy was not eligible to buy on his own. Anyway, the merchants involved all closely question folks they think are suspicious and would never intentionally sell to a straw purchaser, but these folks tricked the merchants by being apparently middle, class, married, white, etc. That's my understanding of how it went down.
     
  7. JimmyN

    JimmyN Member

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    Another interesting point is that even though he claims they are in violation, he is not seeking charges against any of them. He just wants the ability to monitor their business.
    It would seem if he was really doing it to stop illegal gun purchases, and he has proof of that, he would be persuing criminal charges rather than audits.

    He has a problem with crime in his city, but like many politicians it can't be his fault, so he points the blame elsewhere.
     
  8. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    Can you tell me where you got the information about them posing as married couples? I KNEW it had to be something shady like that. Why wouldn't Bloomberg come out with the scenarios used if they were above board?

    I think what the media doesn't grasp, nor does it care to, is that a 'straw purchase' is a big gray area. It isn't always two guys with tatoos, leather jackets and dirty beards coming up to the counter with one talking and the other buying. If it were an obvious middle class husband and wife, I would probably sell the gun without thinking. Not after Bloomberg's stunt of course.
     
  9. Nil

    Nil Member

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    What would a dealer do in that sort of situation (apparently married man and woman) then? Could he run a background check on both of them for the same weapon? Or would he be forced to turn them away and lose their business?
     
  10. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Member

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    I don't know. But again, the media of course doesn't see it from that perspective. Think about it -- if the gun store turns away everyone who comes in as a couple, they easily could go out of business. But that's probably Bloomberg's and the media's point.

    I just started getting suspicious when the media reports -- all of them -- just made generic references to 'straw purchases' without giving precise details of what the agents did.

    EDITED: Even if the dealer could run a joint app, not sure if he can, it would cost the dealer and/or buyer more, no?
     
  11. hammer4nc

    hammer4nc Member

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  12. Feral Cowboy

    Feral Cowboy Member

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    Couple of Bloomberg's targets settle

    And of course that was his strategy. No gun shop has the money to take him on in the courts. It'll be interesting to see how Bob Barr's suit turns out. That gun shop has deeper pockets but not much more.


    Two Georgia Gun Shops Settle New York City Lawsuit


    By GON Staff
    Posted Monday August 28 2006, 1:17 PM

    Two Georgia gun dealers, accused by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of illegal firearms sales have settled. The gun dealers, A-1 Jewelry and Pawn of Augusta and AAA Gun & Pawn Brokers of Hephzibah are both owned by Greg Driggers and his father.

    In May, Mayor Bloomberg filed civil suits against 15 gun dealers in five states for making illegal firearm sales. The suit claims that firearms sold at these businesses were used in crimes committed in New York City between 1994 and 2001. During a six-week sting earlier this year, undercover private investigators hired by New York City posed as customers and attempted to make “straw purchases” of firearms in 45 businesses while wearing hidden cameras.

    In a straw purchase, one investigator would select the firearm and provide the money, but another investigator would fill out the paperwork, posing as the buyer. Under federal law, a gun dealer is prohibited from selling a firearm when he is aware that the gun is not for the person making the purchase. The practice is often used by convicted felons to obtain firearms.

    Under terms of the settlement, a “special master” appointed and paid for by New York City, will audit all firearm sales in the two stores. The special master will have the right to conduct unrestricted inspections of firearms inventories. Additional undercover surveillance of gun sales at the stores is also a possibility.

    “I don’t think we have done anything wrong,” said store owner Greg Driggers. “I have seen the video where they said we did a straw purchase, and they intentionally deceived one of my clerks. They came in here and represented themselves as husband and wife. The only part of the transaction that was wrong was the “wife” filled out the paperwork, and the man was standing right beside her and handed my clerk the money. Bloomberg hired these people to represent the City of New York, and they broke the law.

    “What I would like to know is why the federal government is not reprimanding New York City. What’s keeping them from continuing to break federal law? Where is it going to stop? I would like to see the City of New York brought to justice. They are calling it a simulated sale, but when you lie on a federal document and pay cash, they broke the law.”

    Driggers says he had no choice but to settle.

    “Bloomberg’s got millions and millions of dollars, and I don’t have the money to fight that. My only recourse was to settle, but I am not happy with the situation, and he is going to continue to take advantage of the little guy.”

    In July, former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr filed a $400 million lawsuit against Bloomberg on behalf of the Adventure Outdoors in Marietta, which was named in Bloomberg’s suit.

    Barr’s suit filed in Cobb County Superior Court, claims Bloomberg’s tactics were “careless, willful and clearly illegal.”
     
  13. dcloudy777@aol.com

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    How in the world is Bloomberg not guilty of Solicitation to commit a federal felony?
     
  14. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Actually, the evidence was turned over to the ATF, was reviewed and in a letter written back to Bloomberg in February by Michael Battle he stated that no criminal charges against the gun dealers were going to be brought forward because no laws had been broken. However, in that same letter, an ATF investigation was launched into Bloomberg's activities to see if any laws had been broken.

    Here's what happened:
    Bloomie used old BATF trace data to trace some of the guns seized in illegal activities (which is legal and vital to stopping the flow of illegal guns) to several dealers outside of NYC. The only thing that trace data will provide is Point of Sale, and that's where it ends.

    Several guns were apparently traced back to the stores that he would eventually sue. So, instead of working with the State AGs where these stores are located, he sent Private Investigators, not NYC agents, into the stores usually as a "husband and wife" team with the husband asking all the questions with the wife milling around the store until it came time to fill out the paperwork, in scenarios like this: Watch the Video (video can also be found here at this link: http://www.wtop.com/?nid=600&sid=1137641).

    Then, Bloomie went to an anti-gun federal judge and using a very liberal interpretation of New York City Anti-Nuissance laws presented the dealers with a civil suit in federal court. That's correct, a civil suit. :cuss: The ATF then got involved, and demanded to see the "evidence" that Bloomie had. Bloomie resisted and only folded with the threat of a court order from the ATF. The ATF then reviewed the evidence and in a letter to Bloomie dated 3 Feb 06, stated that no charges would be filed against the gunstores because no laws had been broken. That same letter also stated that an investigation was being opened up on Bloomie's actions as they may have compromised ongoing investigations by the ATF, and for potential straw purchases. That investigation is still ongoing at this point from what I can tell.

    VCDL entered the picture shortly after the suits were filed, and after some discussions, decided to assist 2 dealers who needed assistance, but didn't have many other methods. That's where the Bloomberg Gun Giveaway was formed. Basically, a raffle ticket was to be given to customers who spent more than 100 dollars at the store to assist the owners out by driving business to them so they could afford to resist the civil lawsuits. The first drawing was supposed to be held 3 days after the VA Tech murders on 19 April. It was postponed to yesterday.

    On Tues or Wed this week, Fairfax County VA suddenly started raising Cain about how this raffle was illegal and violated State Gambling laws. The laws are kind of "grey" in this area, so VCDL met with them yesterday morning and came up with another raffle that wouldn't violate the law, basically giving raffle tickets to all who came to the meeting. A separate drawing would be held at another time for the original supporters of the two stores.

    2 Guns were won last night, but the winners still have to go through the background check, etc. prior to taking possession of them.

    In a nutshell, you have Bloomie suing gun dealers in 6 or 7 different states in civil court (where one can sue for anything) trying to enforce NYC Public Nuissance laws. He used private investigators to conduct the "stings" and didn't cooperate with local, state, or federal law enforcement. If he were really serious about stemming the flow of illegal guns, he'd work with these agencies and throw federal criminal charges at the dealers. By now, it's fairly obvious he's using the media attention to grab liberal voters and force his will on small businesses as he's building momentum for an Independent run for the White House. With the current field out there, he might stand a chance.

    This is where we currently stand.
     
  15. quatin

    quatin Member

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    That's called profiling. He should be punished if he's being slack on the rules for people that doesn't match HIS criteria of criminals.
     
  16. obxned

    obxned Member

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    "The only part of the transaction that was wrong was the “wife” filled out the paperwork, and the man was standing right beside her and handed my clerk the money."

    Sounds like a pretty common shopping experience for any married man. No, I'm NOT trying to be funny. If this isn't true, there a lot of males out there cross-dressing and using tampons and makeup.
     
  17. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    My question with all of this is similar to my issue with the current trend of police (and beauty queens) posing as 13 year old girls and having men show up to have sex with them. How can someone break a law when the actual facts are not against the law.

    I assume that Bloomberg's investigators didn't want to "actually" break the law, so they would have been people who were legally authorized to own guns, they just pretended they weren't.

    Similarly, if a guy THINKS he is asking a 13 year old for sex, and it turns out that she is really 23, then no actual law has been broken.

    Look at it this way, if I break into a house to rob it in the middle of the night, and I THINK I've committed a crime, but it turns out that I got mixed up and I broke into and robbed my own house, have I actually committed a crime, just because I THOUGHT I did?

    I thought this is why the police used actual drugs in setting up fake drug buys, becuase if they were using powdered sugar, the criminals could just claim that they were buying sugar, not cocaine. Am I way off base here?
     
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