Va. Tells NYC to Stop Gun Stings

Attorney General Warns of Charges: by Tim Craig, Washington Post Staff Writer, May 10, 2007.

(3 excerpts): Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell is warning New York to stop, by the summer, sending private agents into Virginia to look for illegal gun sales, saying that the agents could face legal action. Because of a Virginia law that goes into effect in July, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) and his agents could be charged with a felony if they continue to target Virginia gun dealers with undercover sting operations, McDonnell said. McDonnell (R) has sent Bloomberg what amounts to a cease-and-desist letter.

“This was a courtesy letter to the mayor to advise him about a change in Virginia law of which he should be aware,” McDonnell said Wednesday. Bloomberg’s spokesman, Jason Post, did not seem shaken: “We wish Attorney General McDonnell was as aggressive in enforcing the laws that prevent illegal guns from getting in the hands of criminals as he was in enforcing the laws that protect the gun lobby” …

… Convinced that illegal gun sales in Virginia contribute to violent crime in his city, Bloomberg has been arming private investigators with hidden cameras and sending them into Virginia gun stores to try to make illegal buys. The process involves “straw purchases,” in which one person legally fills out a form and buys a gun for someone else. New York has filed suit against two dozen gun dealers over such practices, including six in Virginia …

… Mike Stollenwerk, a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, praised McDonnell’s letter, saying he put “Bloomberg on notice.” The league has also been holding a series of “Bloomberg Gun Giveaways” to support the dealers’ legal expenses. Next week, at Fairfax County’s Mason Government Center, “a handgun, a long gun, lots of ammunition, and other prizes will be awarded” as part of a drawing, according to a statement from Stollenwerk. Post says Bloomberg “will continue to develop innovative and aggressive ways to keep New Yorkers safe”. (full text).

Comments are closed.