I’m stealing this from my friend Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks, who is also a licensed gun dealer.
So…if someone like me, a duly licensed gun dealer (Licensed by the FedGov through the ATF to transact business in firearms) forgets to dot an *i* (quite literally….if in my logbook the *i* looks like a lower case *L* because I forgot the dot and that honest mistake is a serial number, a street name, a purchasers name, etc., I can be fined) the fine is $500 FOR EACH MISTAKE MADE.
If my 4473 forms (the background check paperwork) are not serialized, and filed away in date/time order, with the most recent form in the front of the filing drawer and the oldest in the back, and those forms don’t each match an entry in my logbook of gun transactions, I can be fined $500 PER INSTANCE, along with being brought up on FEDERAL CHARGES of gun trafficking.
Those are some pretty steep fines and stringent regulations. And we as a nation should be strict about ensuring that we keep accurate records about who buys dangerous tools, right? So you say, right?
I would ask you the following, then: shouldn’t the nation’s law enforcement agencies be held to the same rigid standards?
The U.S. Park Police has lost track of a huge supply of handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to a report released Thursday on the law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding the National Mall and critical American landmarks.
In the scathing report, the inspector general’s office of the Department of Interior faults staff at the agency for having no idea how many weapons they control and says the department has no clear policies or procedures for investigating missing weapons. The office said top managers, including the police chief, have shown a “lackadaisical attitude toward firearms management.”
While surveying Park Police field office armories, investigators found more than 1,400 extra and unassigned weapons that were intended to be destroyed. They also found 198 handguns that were transferred from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and stored in an operations facility firearms room without being recorded in an inventory system.
Now, what would happen if some unscrupulous individual decided to make a little bit of a profit for himself by selling those unrecorded guns on the street, let’s say? What about an officer who illegally kept one of those untracked firearms at his home in San Francisco, let’s say?
Now, if Dennis legally sells a gun that is later used in a massacre, and the ATF swoops down on his store to examine his records, what do you think will happen?
And what will happen as a result of this sloppy record-keeping on the part of US Park Police?
Well, we know what would happen to Dennis. ATF would swoop down. They would fine him for not dotting the “i,” the media would demonize him as a death merchant, and anti-gun groups would call for his head and demand more government regulations to prevent Dennis from ever failing to dot said “i” again.
What about Park Police?
Well, the report that detailed the agency’s FAIL when it comes to tracking said firearms also made 10 recommendations about how to fix the problem.
I will fully admit that more action could have been taken, and we just don’t know about it. But, that said…
I seriously doubt the disciplinary and punitive action will be all that grave.