An ATF official overstates his case (See how nice I am? I could have called ATF Deputy Assistant Director Bill McMahon a liar, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.) in a Congressional hearing and no one calls him on it.
Less than half of an estimated 18,000 American firearms used in Mexico's drug wars over the last three years have been traced back to licensed gun dealers — suggesting most are stolen or bought at gun shows where background checks are not required, a federal law enforcement official told Congress on Thursday.
Well, I'm going to call him on it, if for no other reason than I expect someone in his high position to have better reasoning powers--aside from knowing more about the laws his own agency enforces.
First, guns purchased from a licensed dealer at a gun show go through exactly the same process they would if they were sold in the dealer's store. I've filled out the 4473s too many times not to be aware of this, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that Mr. McMahon know it as well. He just chose to omit that fact.
Second, in most jurisdictions the sale of a gun from one individual to another needs no government blessing of any kind. Trying to make the willing seller and buyer obtain a blessing is simply a means to introduce a sort of back-door gun registration.
Third, if a gun can't be traced, then just how do we know it even came from the US? "Senor ATF Agent, we have this gun we think came from your country--can you check it out for us?"
"Why sure!" The ATF Agent does his thing and...hm-m-m...no records on that gun. Students, what does this prove?
That there are no records on that gun--no more, no less.
Now whether Mr. McMahon was just trying to protect his job (hey, that explanation at least gets some sympathy from me), was cooperating with an anti-gun agenda (Hi there Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California!) or actually is that ignorant of the relevant laws and facts I don't know. In any case, it stinks, and you should let the Houston Chronicle know that in the comments section on their web site. Many fellow gunnies and supporters of our Constitutional rights already are, so don't be late and miss all the fun.