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Raskin’s New “Bad Apple” Gun Control Law is Rotten to the Core

The Democrats’ latest grandstanding gun control bill, introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), is a perfect example of how the anti-gun media, the gun lobby, and anti-2A politicians all work hand in hand to attack our right to keep and bear arms, but it could also have some unintended consequences for the Metropolitan Police Department.

You might remember a few months ago USA Today got ahold of the ATF’s list of FFLs on the agency’s “Demand 2” program. Gun dealers are put on the list if they’ve sold at least 25 guns traced by the agency in the past year that were purchased within the last 36 months. The ATF itself says that being on the list isn’t evidence of any wrongdoing, but Raskin is now using that list to try to block any FFL in the program from selling to federal agencies

Even though a text of the bill isn’t available for the public to see, Raskin has already attracted almost two dozen Democratic cosponsors. Raskin’s office also previewed the legislation with The Hill, and the representative completely misrepresented what the Demand 2 program is all about. 

“The federal government should not be giving lucrative federal contracts to the bad-apple gun dealers who are consistently selling firearms to people who use them in violent crimes or transfer them to people who use them in violent crimes,” Raskin said in a statement Thursday.
Raskin introduced the bill last week, while Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate in the coming weeks, Padilla’s office confirmed.
“Our commonsense legislation aims to combat senseless, preventable gun violence by ensuring that gun dealers follow responsible business practices to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands,” Padilla said.

Again, the ATF itself says being on the Demand 2 list isn’t evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of an FFL. ATF spokeswoman Kristina Mastropasqua told USA Today‘s Nick Penzenstadler that “a number of factors, including geography, sales volume, secondary market transfers by an original lawful purchaser, and the level of sophistication of firearm traffickers, may be involved in a traced crime gun.” 

If Raskin truly believes that simply being on that list is evidence of nefarious activity on the part of FFLs, then the first place he should be targeting is Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. Not only is D.C.’s government under the purview of Congress, the MPD itself is on the ATF’s Demand 2 list. As NBC 4 in D.C. reported back in April:

According to Brady, just 2% of gun dealers across the country are in the ATF program any given year. The I-Team found 14 dealers in D.C., Northern Virginia, and the Maryland suburbs. That includes both currently licensed dealers in D.C. along with MPD from the time when it was an active gun dealer.
That means at least 25 of the guns MPD helped sell to D.C. residents in 2020 and 2021 were recovered at crime scenes in 2021 alone.
“It was a little bit surprising to see that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department receive a demand letter,” Scharff said.

It shouldn’t have been. The Metropolitan Police Department was the only FFL operating in D.C. for about two years, so it handled thousands of transfers from Maryland and Virginia. Washington, D.C. didn’t have any retail firearms dealers at the time, so every District resident who wanted to exercise their Second Amendment rights were forced to travel into neighboring states to purchase their firearms before having them shipped to the D.C. police where they could be picked up. 

Does that mean that the MDP was turning a blind eye to criminal activity? Of course not. But according to Raskin and his co-sponsors, the presence of D.C. police on the Demand 2 list should call into question the department’s professionalism and adherence to the law. And if, as Raskin claims, being a part of the Demand 2 program means that the department is or was “consistently” transferring guns to violent criminals, then why would he want to have any firearms transferred to the MPD itself? 

Now, I’m sure that Raskin and his colleagues will find a way to exempt D.C. from the provisions of this bill, either officially or with a wink and a nod. The MPD is no longer serving as an FFL for District residents, for one thing, but even if the department was still engaged in the business gun laws always seem to contain some unwritten exceptions in the District of Columbia. NBC’s David Gregory, for instance, was allowed to possess an illegal “large capacity” magazine, even though he violated District law on camera, so even if the D.C. police isn’t officially exempt from Raskin’s legislation, it will be in practice. 

Raskin’s bill isn’t going anywhere in the House this session, but the fact that he and other Democrats are pushing it despite the clear statement by the ATF that being a part of the Demand 2 program isn’t evidence of wrongdoing should scare the hell out of every gun owner and FFL in the country. This isn’t a fact-based or common sense approach to fighting violent crime. This is about turning a B.S. story from the media that was amplified by the gun control lobby into a law that could negatively impact thousands of FFLs across the country. I don’t know how many of the FFLs in the Demand 2 program could accurately be labeled “bad apples”, but I do know that Raskin’s bill is rotten to the core. 

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