Saturday, December 05, 2020

Douche Move

An old school 4473

I think I've explained the way the firearms tracing system works here in the U.S. before, but just in case you weren't here for that post, I'll do it again.

Say the po-po encounter a "crime gun", either discarded at the scene of the crime or in the possession of a criminal suspect. What they do is contact the National Tracing Center at the BATFE, and initiate a trace on the gun and that goes something like this:

At the scene of a messy and very ballistic turf dispute between some unlicensed pharmaceutical distributors, the cops find a Blastomatic 2000 in a dead guy's hand. They initiate a trace with the National Tracing Center on Blastomatic 2000, serial number 123XYZ.

The BATFE contacts Blastomatic and inquires as to the disposition of that particular serial number. Blastomatic checks their records and tells the feds that it had been shipped to Very Big Wholesale Co., Incorporated, out in Texas. The feds then contact VBWC Inc. and ask about the disposition of 123XYZ.

Very Big Wholesale informs the feds that they shipped the gun to The Gun Rack in McAllen, Texas. So next the feds call The Gun Rack, who checks their bound book and determines that the gun in question was sold to one Jorge Martinez a year ago.

Now the feds contact Mr. Martinez and ask him why the Blastomatic 2000, serial number 123XYZ, which he purchased from The Gun Rack in McAllen, Texas last year was found on the body of a dead gangster.

But Mr. Martinez is genuinely puzzled. He tells the BATFE that he's only ever bought two guns from The Gun Rack: a Mossberg for dove hunting several years ago, and a Smith & Wesson .38 for his wife last year. "Well," say the feds, "That's not the information we have..."

It turns out that the (former) manager of The Gun Rack was adding a few extra guns on the completed 4473's of legitimate customers and then selling those guns out the back door to unspecified criminal baddies. No guns would turn up missing on the books, and since he was the manager, presumably he had enough access to the financials to keep the ruse covered up for a while.

But how many ordinary people got jammed up as suspects before investigators compared notes and realized they were all telling the same story and the nexus was that jackass at The Gun Rack?

Very uncool, dude. Criming is bad enough, but casually framing innocent customers is a super douchetastic thing to do. There should be a heavy sentencing modifier just for that.