Monday, October 5, 2009

More Straw Purchases at Badger

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the latest allegations concerning the beleaguered Badger Guns. This is the gun shop whose owner, Adam Allan, took the offensive last week by posting a sign warning his customers that the cops were watching and would probably stop them as they left the store.

The handgun used to shoot a Milwaukee police officer last week has been traced to Badger Guns, making that store the sole supplier of all the guns used to wound six officers in two years, police said.

Nine of 10 straw buyers prosecuted since 2007 made their purchases at Badger Guns or its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, a review of court records shows. In the past five years, the store accounted for 21 of the 27 cases prosecuted.

Three miles away there's another gun shop, The Shooters Shop in West Allis. It accounted for 3% of the crime guns recovered by Milwaukee from 2006 to Sept. 1 of this year. Badger accounted for 30% of crime guns during the same time. Of course volume has something to do with it.

The Shooters Shop's owner, Kevin Nugent, disputed Badger's argument that its high numbers are explained by its sales volume and proximity to Milwaukee. Nugent said he prevents straw purchases by closely questioning everyone who comes in his business.

"It's called a conscience," Nugent said. "When you are selling a firearm, you have to take personal responsibility to know that you are selling an instrument that could be used for harmful purposes."

Now there's a quote for you, "It's called conscience." When the crime guns traced to a particular store are as many as this, one has to question the "conscience" of the owner. Nugent also said, "you have to take personal responsibility." I like this guy.

What's your opinion? Does the mounting evidence against Badger make you wonder about their practices? What can be done to prevent a gun shop owner from having the shoulder-shrugging, it's-not-my-fault attitude about straw purchases? Why do lawful gun owners get defensive about guys like this? If I were a clean and honest gun owner, I wouldn't touch a place like Badger guns with a ten foot pole. How about you?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I wish Badger sold guns online.

    Or maybe not--I can't really afford one right now--although I sure have a hankerin' for an FN Five-seveN (hysterically demonized by the Brady Campaign scam artists as a "cop killer").

  2. I like Nugent's attitude too. It's the same attitude more gun shop owners should have. I know several more who think exactly like he does.

    I don't know how the owner of Badger can live with himself.

  3. Sorry but I wouldn't buy a gun from Nugent.

    Being "closely questioned" by a retail establishment for no other reason then I want to buy one of their legal products, BUNK.

    If they want to do that fine, but there is a right to privacy even when buying firearms. Nugent might not be crossing the line on that, but if he won't respect my privacy, it is his lose.

  4. Well said, Bob S. If Nugent wants to treat his customers like suspects, that's his prerogative, but for prospective gun buyers who refuse to accept that kind of treatment, it's their prerogative to shop where they will be treated like, well . . . customers.

    Badger sounds pretty good in that regard.

  5. beowulf, is this what you call Brady demonization?

    "Three leading police organizations today urged police nationwide to be on the lookout for a small, easily concealable handgun that fires bullets that penetrate soft body armor, calling the gun an immediate threat to law enforcement officers."

  6. beowulf, is this what you call Brady demonization?

    It's certainly one of Brady's vast number of agenda-driven, deliberate distortions (I'm refraining from using the word "lie," because that word seems to make you unhappy--see what a nice guy I am?).

    The SS190 round, which was indeed designed to have some ability to defeat body armor, has never been legally available to civilians (because if civilians are attacked by thugs in body armor, it's their civic duty to simply die, I guess). The SS192 round is what got the Bradys' panties in a bunch, despite a) the fact that other pistol rounds, including some like the 7.62x25mm Tokarev--fired from Warsaw Pact military surplus pistols that can be bought cheaply (and with a Curios and Relics license, can even be bought through the mail); b) the SS192 round's ability to defeat soft body armor is quite marginal, at best; and c) FN voluntarily withdrew it from the market, anyway.

  7. Note the numbers involved, and the numbers not mentioned.

    Number A: number of straw purchases prosecuted since 2007: 10

    Number B: number of straw purchases prosecuted since 2007 which happened at Badger: 9

    Number C: Total number of guns purchased at Badger since 2007: ??

    Number D: Total number of similar-sized gun stores in the area :??

    Because if C is greater than 10,000, you're talking about a miniscule detected error rate. Still illegal and problematic, but not catastrophic.

    And if D is less than 1, then Badgers is the biggest gun store in the area, and likely to see a high concentration of (legal and straw-purchased) gun sales in the area.

    Until you have numbers C and D, you are guessing about how big a problem it is.

    Whether or not it is a big problem, there are policies and programs in place at the BATFE (aided by the NSSF) to help gun stores stop straw-sales. Do you know what they are? Do you think they are good enough?

    (Again, Google is your friend. Although by asking here, you'll likely get the same result.)

  8. I don't know anything about the shops in question. It could be volume, it could be carelessness, or it could easily be product mix.

    The cheapest available guns are disproportionately represented as crime gun recoveries. If a shop sells the cheapest available guns, the shop will also be disproportionately represented. Straw buyers don't typically buy Kimbers. I am not aware of any gun shop in my area that sells Jennings-Family guns (almost entirely sold in pawn shops), and only a few sell Hi-Point, the next cheapest type. If your shop's cheapest handgun is $400, you probably won't have many crime guns traced back to you.

  9. Sevesteen, Thanks for that interesting possibility which I don't think has been mentioned before. If a shop specializes in cheaper handguns, more of them will turn up in crime. If a guy sells mainly top-of-the-line stuff, there'll be less.

    Good one.

  10. I think there is quite a good chance that Sevesteen has nailed it.

    Mikeb, I would argue that Badger could be carrying inexpensive handguns, without "specializing" in them.

    And finally, if Badger does carry inexpensive handguns, I say "kudos to them," because I don't believe that the poor should be priced out of the self-defense market.