Yesterday, David Codrea, at War on Guns, posted about three more gun shops capitulating to Mayor Bloomberg's strongarm litigation tactics. According to the Associated Press article, that brings to twelve the number of gunshops (out of 27 sued) that will no longer fight the bullying.
I'm not really making a moral judgment against the gun shop owner/operators who simply cannot afford to fight the legal battles, but as Mr. Codrea says,
I refuse to buy a gun where an appointee for that tyrant is going to "monitor" the transaction.While I'm quoting, one of the owners offered an explanation for the decision to submit to Bloomberg's assault lawyers.
Melissa Paulette, co-owner of Hot Shots Jewelry & Pawn, of Marietta, said she had no problem opening her records or putting her clerks through extra training.That's fine if the shop owners "have no problem" with opening their sales records up for inspection by the minions of one of the most prominent advocates of civilian disarmament in the country, but (as Mr. Codrea pointed out) some customers apparently do have a problem with that. Anyone who doubts that might ask Cole's Gun Shop.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League is gearing up to boycott and perhaps picket Cole's Gun Shop, saying owner Mark Cole put their privacy in jeopardy when he agreed to let a court-appointed officer scrutinize his gun sales for the next three years.An issue of gun owners' privacy is exactly what this is.
While it may seem hard hearted to require gun shop owners to choose between pressure from Bloomberg on the one hand, and pressure from their own customers on the other, gun buyers can hardly be blamed for wanting to keep their names out of the hands of Bloomberg'g goon squad. Hopefully, more gun rights organizations will step up with legal defense funds (as the Second Amendment Foundation has, and so has the Virginia Citizens Defense League) for the shops whose owners do have the courage to tell Bloomberg that their customers' privacy is not for sale.
This brings me to an idea I have for perhaps the only "gun law" I would support. I would like to see state laws that would forbid such violations of customers' privacy, by prohibiting licensed gun dealers from sharing sales records except with law enforcement agencies who require the data for official investigations. By the way, I am generally strongly opposed to the idea of bestowing exclusive powers on what Mr. Codrea refers to as the "Only Ones," but I make an exception in this case. I believe that gun sales records should be released only on a need to know basis, and I am willing to acknowledge that there are times when law enforcement agencies need to know the details of specific gun sales.
I have a great deal of respect for the gun shops that continue the good fight against Bloomberg, and the organizations that help them in that fight--but not all gun shop owners are made of such stern stuff. A law like the one I propose, basically outlawing the kind of surrender Bloomberg seeks, might be just the ticket.