Don't put a lid on gun sales data http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opin ... dguns.html The major problem I have with this story and the situation itself is... Most of you are aware that the federal limited liability law was passed last year. This New York City lawsuit was specifically cited as a trial that would not be allowed under this new law. A known activist judge has allowed it to continue dispite the new law (an appeal is on-going). However you may not know that the key "data" from the ATF does not say anything close to "a few rouge gun dealers are responsible fore a large proportion of illegal gun sales". Which is a major reason why the information is no longer availible. The "data" from the ATF simply says the name of the Gun Dealer and how many gun traces they received in a 4 year span, 1996 thru 2000. The information was provided by the ATF to the National Economic Research Associates. Normally this information is not given but it was required for a civil lawsuit filed by the NAACP. That lawsuit failed. The anti gun group Americans for Gun Safety used this data to release a flawed report called selling crime. http://w3.agsfoundation.com/press_011304.html The 2 notable quotes from that flawed report that I have now seen or heard several times in the media are: The second quote seems to be where the "few rogue gun dealers are responsible for a large proportion of illegal gun sales" comes from in the AJC editorial. Some of you already know that where there is a report or study by an anti-gun group there is a lie, well the same is true here. All this information is based on gun trace data. First a trace is done for a wide variety of reasons, many involve people that never came in contact with the gun dealer or the person who originally bought the firearm. Example: I buy a firearm from Roman Guns. I keep it for a year and sell it to my friend Jim. Jim changes his mind and sells it to Pete. While in town Pete's car is broken into and the gun is stolen. A year later a Drug Dealer is busted and a firearm is found on him. A trace is run and found the gun was sold to Roman Guns. The local police then go to Roman Guns and they report they sold it to me. The local police then have to track me down, and I would tell them Jim has it, they track down Jim and he says Pete has it. They track down Pete and he tells them he reported it stolen. To the ATF all they know is 1 trace was performed and the record came back Roman Guns. Neither the Store, I, Jim, nor Pete broke the law. (a California dealer who had 1,000-plus guns stolen during Los Angeles riots was included in the list) In a typical year about half of all traces are started by the ATF and the reason for that trace is known. The other half are local LEO's running traces and the reason for that trace is not known. If the reason for roughly half of all traces are not known, it is IMPOSSIBLE and WRONG to say or imply that a trace represents a crime or wrong doing. Not including the fact that firearms that are traced by the ATF (and the reason why is known) may not be charged with a crime or found not guilty. Last but not least is the fact that the lawsuit says the "gunmakers could have and should have identified those rogue dealers and refused to sell them any more firearms." That is funny because that is what the ATF is charged to do. What does the ATF say about these rouge dealers? Every report about trace data has to include a disclaimer that says "Most importantly, they(traced guns) do not necessarily reflect typical criminal diversions of firearms or the typical acquisition of firearms by youth, juveniles, and adults." ATF uses trace data to hint at who could be trafficking guns, they then have to use other investigational tools to determine if that hint is real or misleading. They know a trace is not proof of trafficking and because of the unknown factors can never be proof in and of itself. The lawsuit claims that it is proof. If anyone is at fault for putting a lid on gun sales data it is the Brady Bunch and AGS for misusing information. (by the way, the above is just one lie of many in that AGS report) So to sum up, the AJC Editorial is based on lies by the Brady Bunch and AGS, NOT the "data" the ATF uses (and still uses, however they no longer can provide it to lawyers). Nice of the AJC editor to imply otherwise.