The most amazing thing, as we saw so clearly in the comments the last time we discussed this story, is the strong support among gun owners. I really find it amazing that they, who continually claim to be responsible and law abiding, do not raise their voices above all others in denouncing gun shops like this.
A judge has ruled that a Shawano gun dealer should lose its license for repeatedly failing to keep accurate records and for making suspected straw gun sales, supporting the action a federal agency took nearly three years ago.
Despite the ruling from U.S. District Judge William Griesbach in Green Bay this week, Shawano Gun and Loan continues to sell guns - and might be able to do so for months or even years depending on a possible appeal.
Griesbach issued an order that supported the revocation issued by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in October 2007.
The ATF took the rare step of revoking the Shawano store's license after repeatedly warning the owner about missing records and other violations.
The agency moved to revoke 64 licenses in fiscal year 2009 stemming from more than 11,000 inspections - the most recent figures available.
Now there's a small precentage for you. The first thing that comes to my mind is that crooked gun dealers can so easily conceal their criminal activity that the number of requested revocations was only 64. The second thing that comes to mind is that those 64 must really be bad. You'd think everybody would rejoice when those guys were put out of business, but I'm afraid it doesn't work like that.
Revoking a license can take years because of a law that allows a so-called "de novo review" by a federal judge - a fresh look at the matter that may result in a trial. In the Shawano case, Griesbach did not hold such a trial, yet the case still took 18 months to conclude as each side submitted hundreds of pages of documents.
When, after years of accumulating violations and evidence, the ATF finally succeeds in closing down this criminal enterprise, they'll just do what Badger Outdoors did.
That would be similar to a case in 2006, when ATF investigators recommended revoking the license of Badger Outdoors in West Milwaukee.
There was no revocation and the store remains open, operating as Badger Guns. Federal records show the license recommended for revocation was relinquished voluntarily, the players inside the operation took on new roles and a new license was issued to the son of a previous owner, creating what one federal official called a "clean slate," a Journal Sentinel investigation found earlier this year.
To me, one of the strongest indictments against gun owners in general is their, not only turning a blind eye to this nonsense, but actually supporting it by protecting criminal gun dealers. It not only taints them all with guilt, it undermines their attempts to be accepted as responsible citizens exercising their rights.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.