Dennis Henigan has a new post about two gun dealers up on the Brady Campaign blog. I find it interesting that much of what he says is only half-true. For example he says:
The Seattle Times reported that Brian Borgelt, the former owner of Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, the notorious Tacoma, Washington gun shop that supplied the gun used in the 2002 D.C.-area sniper shootings, had lost his lawsuit seeking to have his firearms dealer license restored.
This is true as far as it goes but what he doesn’t tell you is the Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply is still open selling guns. The store was purchased by a friend of Borgelt and is doing just fine. Those Seattle Times articles are dated the day before the article linked to by Henigan. My hypothesis is that victories for Henigan are so rare these days that he has to exaggerate something of no consequence into something to celebrate.
Also note that he claims the gun shop “supplied the gun”. That’s interesting wording since Malvo says he shoplifted the gun from the store. That’s like saying you supplied the car used in a bank robbery after it was stolen from your driveway.
Next Henigan says:
Borgelt hit the headlines after the DC snipers, John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, were arrested after killing ten and wounding four others during three weeks of horror in October, 2002. Authorities traced their Bushmaster assault rifle to Borgelt’s gun shop, but Borgelt claimed he didn’t even know the gun was missing. Borgelt could produce no record that the gun had been sold, nor that it had been reported missing or stolen (as required by federal law). It turns out that the snipers’ Bushmaster was only one of 238 Bull’s Eye guns mysteriously missing and unaccounted for in the previous three years. Either Bull’s Eye was actively corrupt, or grievously negligent.
Most of those 238 guns were eventually accounted for (I think, I can’t seem to find verification of that right now). I think the final number was something like 80 that were apparently stolen or perhaps sold illegally. To the best of my knowledge there was no evidence any were sold to someone that was not allowed to own a firearm. But that doesn’t fit Henigan’s agenda:
During the period 1997-2001, Bull’s Eye ranked in the top 1% of dealers in guns sold and traced to crime; its guns had been traced to homicides, kidnappings and assaults.
Note the careful wording “traced to crime”? He did not say, “Used in a crime.” That is because the ATF gun traces include guns that were stolen and the police were trying to find the true owner. Hence by choosing his words very carefully Henigan gives a very different impression that what is the complete truth. And that’s just a tiny part of the lie in that sentence.
If you follow his own link you will find the following:
Long before last fall’s sniper slayings, Bull’s Eye was among a minuscule group of problem gun dealers that, willingly or not, “supply the suppliers” who funnel guns to the nation’s criminals, the ATF says. Studies show about 1 percent of gun stores sell the weapons traced to 57 percent of gun crimes.
That does NOT say Bull’s Eye was in the 1%. The Seattle Times is being a little misleading too but Henigan goes into a full blown lie with it.
Here are the raw numbers from the same Seattle Times article:
An analysis of records obtained by The Seattle Times through a freedom-of-information lawsuit against the ATF shows that between 1997 and 2001, guns sold by Bull’s Eye were involved in 52 crimes, including homicides, kidnappings and assaults — a rate the ATF considers alarming.
[T]he number of crime guns traced back to Bull’s Eye had been growing from three in 1997 to 10 in 1998, 18 in 1999, and 11 in 2000.
According to the FBI in 2001 there were 1,425,486 violent crimes in the U.S. of which 26.2% were committed with a firearm. That gives us a total of 373,477 violent crimes committed with a firearm. About 10 of those guns came from Bull’s Eye. This is 0.0027%. It’s not possible for Bull’s Eye to have been in the top 1% of the gun shops that supplied 57 percent of gun crimes.
Anytime you see something with Henigan’s name on remember this–at best it is half true.