Remember the ATF scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious? Our government wishes you didn’t remember and in case you don’t, it was a program that handed thousands of weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Those weapons were then used to murder over 300 Mexican citizens and several Americans including US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
For the most part, the people responsible for Fast and Furious have not been fully held accountable for their illegal actions. Some, like US Attorney General Eric Holder have been hiding under Obama’s umbrella of protection to avoid supplying damning evidence to Congress.
Yet while the government continues to cover its butt for their illegal gun running operation, they are turning the tide on law abiding gun owners and going after them for every little thing they possibly can. Just ask former Marine Ryan Jerome. He traveled from Indiana to New York to sell $15,000 worth of jewelry. He holds a conceal carry permit in Indiana and the information he found on line told him that New York would honor it. When he arrived at the Empire State Building and saw a sign saying no firearms, he turned his gun over to security and showed them his conceal carry permit from Indiana. Jerome was arrested on firearms violations in New York, which doesn’t honor the conceal carry permits from others states. Jerome, who was trying to obey the law, faced up to three and half years in prison. To avoid a felony conviction and the prison time, he agreed to a plea bargain of a misdemeanor charge. He was ordered to serve 10 days community service near his home in Indiana and pay a $1,000 fine.
Then there is the case of the Reese family in New Mexico. They ran a gun store and did everything legal and according to the laws. They even hired law enforcement officers to work part time for them. The ATF, at the same time as Fast and Furious, sent a Hispanic into the store to entrap the family. ATF ended up raiding the store and family’s home and filing various charges against the parents and two sons. The feds confiscated the store and their home and all over their possessions. Eventually one of their sons was acquitted of all charges and the mother was released on bail. The father and other son were found guilty on two trumped up charges and remain in jail, pending a new trial.
Now we are hearing of more instances where law abiding, legal gun owners are being arrested for petty things. Take the case of Bruce Abramski, a retired police officer. He legally purchased a handgun and passed all of the background checks and did everything by the books. He bought the gun in Virginia where he lives because he gets a discount at a local gun shop because of his law enforcement background. Abramski, then drove to his elderly uncle’s house in Pennsylvania where they took the gun to a local gun shop so that his uncle could fill out all of the federal forms, including a background check and paid all necessary fees. His uncle passed the background check and the gun was properly registered. However the feds arrested Abramski for falsifying the original purchase form by saying that he was the actual buyer of the gun. The feds consider his uncle’s secondary purchase of the gun to be a straw purchase. Abramski has been fighting the charges and his case is now scheduled to go before the US Supreme Court in January 2014.
Brian Aitken also has a firearms horror story to share. Aitken was from Colorado to New Jersey to be closer to his son. He had legally purchased some handguns in Colorado and had them packed in the trunk of his car with other possessions. He stopped at his mom’s house in New Jersey to visit and have a cup of coffee. In a bizarre police matter, the guns were discovered in his trunk and he was arrested, convicted of felony firearms violations and sent to prison for seven years. The governor commuted his sentence after four months, but he is still a convicted felon and forbidden from owning a firearm. Worse yet, he was barred from being able to see his son.
During the terrible flooding that took place in Colorado this summer, many homes and communities were left abandoned by their owners. A number of those homes had firearms in them and according to the new Colorado gun laws signed by Gov. Hickenlooper made it a crime for anyone other than the owner to ‘babysit’ a home containing firearms. Fortunately, local district attorneys in the flooded areas decided not to press any charges for people watching over the empty homes of family or friends that contained legally owned firearms, but they could have prosecuted a number of good Samaritans had they been so inclined.
So if you are a legal gun owner and you even think about transferring ownership of a gun to someone else, whether as a purchase or a gift, you better check all of the laws before doing so. If you plan on traveling somewhere to visit or even move, you need to learn all of the laws pertaining to the ownership and transportation of firearms for every jurisdiction you pass through. If that sounds too overwhelming, then I would recommend that you live or move to a state like Texas or Arizona that welcomes gun owners and respects their right to bear and carry firearms.