West Milwaukee's Badger Outdoors last year again was tops among all gun shops in the nation for selling guns that later were recovered by police during criminal investigations, according to new data from the federal government.The story also mentions that Badger has been on or near the top of this list for a number of years. The owner of the store further describes himself as a member of the NRA and states that "we are not the bad guys, damn it. I don't care what those numbers say." I don't know if the owners of Badger are "the bad guys" or not but I do know that there is obviously something wrong with that situation. After the first few years of being at the top of that list, you've got to take SOME action to avoid the ranking.
In 2005, there were 537 crime guns - an average of more than 10 a week - recovered and traced to Badger, the Milwaukee area's largest gun dealer. None of the others in the top five had more than 500 crime guns traced to them, according to the document from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Perhaps just as disturbing as finding out that we are number one in this category is that the government is now seeking to stop providing these kinds of numbers to the public. Milwaukee Assistant DA Chisholm and Mayor Barrett don't see the sense in restricting such data. Again from the Journal Sentinel story:
The government clamped down on release of ATF gun trace information five years ago, and both Chisholm and Barrett are concerned about a bill pending in Congress that would tighten release of such data. The measure would let prosecutors use gun traces for a specific case, but Chisholm said it wouldn't let him compile a complete picture of where crime guns come from and share it with the public.A representative of the NRA in the story tries to defend the pending bill claiming that "anti-gun" groups might use it for lawsuits. There you have it folks, the NRA, protecting their interests and seeking to keep the public in the dark. Rather than us being made aware of the problems and addressing them, they seem content in having us continue on a course of gun violence.
"Now we are going to have that information taken away from us, and that doesn't seem right," Chisholm said. "You are going to be blinded in the future to see if your strategies are effective."
Barrett said he recently learned he had no right to see trace information, and the bill would further restrict access.
"I am outraged that my federal government is keeping this information from us," he said.