Boston billboard pins crimes on Vermont guns

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Not TOTALLY biased.

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Boston billboard pins crimes on Vermont guns

Not far from Fenway Park in Boston and visible from some of the busiest highways on the East Coast is a 252-foot-long, 20-foot-high billboard with a message: "Stop Traffic: Background Checks Prevent Crime," alongside enormous silhouettes of handguns. The accused? In equally large letters: Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, city police leaders and a group called Stop Handgun Violence unveiled the billboard's message to raise public support to change federal law so background checks would be required for private handgun sales. Federal law requires background checks only on purchases from licensed firearms dealers -- primarily gun stores.

Although many states have more rigorous laws, Vermont and 31 other states do not. And the coalition's contention is that Massachusetts is paying a price for the neighboring states that don't require checks.

The billboard's slogan is catchy but hard to prove, at least in Vermont's case. Further, if it once was a problem, it appears to be less so.

Although Massachusetts law enforcement officials recognize that access to handguns is easier here, they don't think guns from Vermont used in crimes are a big problem. It's difficult to know with certainty, because federal law prevents public release of information on the origin of guns used in crimes.

Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce said Vermont is not a significant source of guns used in crimes in his city, but that Florida, Maine and New Hampshire are.

"We only had one illegal gun end up in Boston from Vermont in 2005," Joyce said, adding that "secondary markets" for old guns, such as flea markets and "kitchen table" sales, make it more difficult to trace guns to where they were bought by criminals, even if the place of the first sale can be identified.

The I-91 corridor

The western part of Massachusetts is more connected to Vermont because of Interstate 91 and because the states share a border.

Capt. William Noonan of the Springfield, Mass., Police Department said although his department still confiscates guns bought in Vermont, guns from the Green Mountain State are not as much of a problem as they were a few years ago.

"Still, the perception is that it's easier to get access to guns in Vermont," he said. "People will go up from here with heroin and crack and trade them for guns."

For the past five years there has been a crackdown on drug trafficking between the two states, Noonan said. For that reason, fewer Vermont guns have been confiscated. Tom Anderson, assistant U.S. district attorney of Vermont, obtained statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for The Burlington Free Press that indicate a decline from 2004 to 2005 in the number of guns stolen from dealers and owners in Vermont, the number of guns recovered from gang members out of state that have originated from Vermont, and the number of guns being trafficked illegally by Vermont residents as documented in criminal prosecutions.

Anderson said there had been an "uptick in resources applied to investigating and catching firearms traffickers," mainly the hiring of more ATF agents to work in the state.

When guns are confiscated in trafficking cases, Anderson said, they might have come from legal sources or from burglaries. "It's difficult to tell," he said. "They could even have come from out of state and ended up in Vermont."

John Rosenthal, co-founder of Stop Handgun Violence, is a Massachusetts resident and owner of the Boston billboard. He estimates that 250,000 people see his billboard daily while commuting to and from Boston from the city's western suburbs. Rosenthal's group paid for the billboard with money raised from businesses and individuals.

Rosenthal, who attended Vermont's largest gun show in Barre in February, said he was shocked to see guns being sold by private owners "in the aisles and from pickup trucks in the parking lot." In Massachusetts, all handgun sales require a background check, and buyers must have a permit issued by local police.

He conceded it is difficult to prove how many guns from Vermont are used in crimes, but added that "it is a totally imperfect science." A gun can be passed among many owners over a long period of time before being used in a crime.

Cindy Hill, an attorney in Middlebury given an award by the National Rifle Association for her legal advocacy of the Second Amendment, said she doubts private gun sales in Vermont are fueling crime in Massachusetts.

"More and more gun owners are taking their guns to stores to sell on consignment, and the stores require background checks," she said. "People call me all the time asking advice on whether to sell guns to stores or on their own."

Stuck in traffic

The Boston group and others want to change a national law that prevents the public from knowing where crime guns originate.

ATF tracks where crime guns come from, but a national appropriations bill passed by Congress has been amended for the past four years to prohibit the bureau from disclosing that data to the media or public, including public officials. ATF does share information with other law enforcement departments who need it for criminal investigations of gun traffickers.

The amendments, dubbed the Tiahrt amendments because they were introduced by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., also protect gun dealers from being sued for crimes committed with guns traced back to them. The amendments have been supported by the National Rifle Association.

Menino -- and other mayors across the country -- are calling for repeal of the law because it prevents law enforcement from "shutting down rogue gun dealers and identifying patterns of behavior" that tell officials about the flow of guns across state lines.

Darren Gil, the resident agent in charge of the Vermont field office of ATF, said most guns picked up in crimes in New England can be traced to firearms traffickers, who either burglarized a gun owner or dealership or "somehow purchased them from a licensed dealer."

Gil hesitates to place blame on specific states' laws for the trafficking problem. "Nationwide," he said, "if you want illegal firearms, you can get them."
 
In Massachusetts, all handgun sales require a background check

This is not accurate? While I have never done it, a FTF transaction via a F-10 does not involve a background check.
 
Try blaming the crimes where they belong...on the low life Boston residents who use the firearms in those crimes. Guess it wouldn't look good on a billboard.
 
massnee said:
This is not accurate? While I have never done it, a FTF transaction via a F-10 does not involve a background check.

Shhh!

Don't tell them that or they will get the law changed ala CA! It wouldn't be very hard for them to do either. Rosenthal has "all the right ears" at his beck and call to pull it off too.
 
rscalzo said:
Try blaming the crimes where they belong...on the low life Boston residents who use the firearms in those crimes. Guess it wouldn't look good on a billboard.

But if they did that it would cost them votes come election time. [rolleyes]
 
I can bet you dollars to doughnuts that Federal law regulating intrastate gun sales would be challenged on 10th Amendment grounds and would have a good chance of being struck down.
 
Although many states have more rigorous laws, Vermont and 31 other states do not. And the coalition's contention is that Massachusetts is paying a price for the neighboring states that don't require checks.


Who cares?? We're not IN those states.

Last I checked it's already illegal for me to go over to VT and buy a gun directly from someone... We can't do a private sale with them even if we had to do backgound checks on them.

And if we have to do a background check when we do FA-10's... It STILL has nothing to do with guns coming in from out of state.
 
C-pher said:
Last I checked it's already illegal for me to go over to VT and buy a gun directly from someone... We can't do a private sale with them even if we had to do backgound checks on them.

Exactly.

Anyone else notice in this article, the liberal press is finally calling attention to border enforcement? Unfortunately, it's the one btwn MA and VT. [crying]
 
massnee said:
This is not accurate? While I have never done it, a FTF transaction via a F-10 does not involve a background check.

Well, maybe not a "hot" one, but a BG check is implied by the posession
of the license. And as far as I know, LTCs get audited periodically,
somehow. So it's almost "as good as" having a BG check if having such
things is good. Frankly I think background checks for gun purchases
are a load of crap, though. All it is most of the time is more red tape for
legitimate gun owners, who by and large, don't cause the "problems".

-Mike
 
Just keep blaming the other guys. You know if maybe we just had some enforcement for the BAD guys who are breaking the law instead of always getting their panties in a twist to affect us law-abiding citizens then maybe there would be a shift in gun crime. [rolleyes]

Stop pointing the finger at anything besides yourself unless you're pointing at a mirror. [frown] I hate John Rosenthal. He's just making things worse.
 
Jose said:
I can bet you dollars to doughnuts that Federal law regulating intrastate gun sales would be challenged on 10th Amendment grounds and would have a good chance of being struck down.


The subterfuge in DC though is that nobody wants that to happen,
because they know that if a good case got to the supremes, that the gun
controllers would lose big time. The whole federal gun control spiel
is very "weak" when it comes to the standards of interstate
commerce. There is a myriad of laws which are "over the line" jurisdiction
wise, EG, how is brady/NICS relevant for someone whos buying a firearm
from a dealer in the same state they reside in? That transaction, on its
face, is NOTa part of "interstate" commerce. In theory, the BATFE should only
have the authority to regulate gun sales between individuals in different states,
nothing more, with the states basically left to make up any other
rules. They've extended far beyond that....

If the constitution was obeyed, it would be the other way around... the
feds would be witholding federal funding for crap like the big dig from
states like MA which aren't even remotely compliant with the intent of the
2nd amendment.... but alas, it is not, it is urinated upon instead, and has
become functionally worthless because of a bunch of unconstitutional law
being passed which negates its effectiveness.

-Mike
 
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/08/04/captain_was_told_of_parties_memos_say/

In his memo, the sergeant pointed out that the three suspected gang members had a total of six firearm arrests and 18 drug arrests and that two of them had been charged with aggravated assault. The sergeant also said that he found 25 to 30 other men inside the dance studio that morning; while they said they were recording rap music, he saw no recording equipment, he said.

Not only is the police department having corrupt cops hanging out protecting drug dealers, but the gang members do not seem to be experiencing any problems with multiple firearms arrests. What good are the laws in this state, they prevent honest people from carrying guns, and let criminals carry as much as they like.
 
So .... guns cause crime. All the guns come from Vermont and New Hampshire. Therefore, by that same logic, Vermont and New Hampshire MUST be crime ridden urban wastelands.

quarry_couple.jpg

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new-ha1.jpg


I'm looking closely, but I just don't see any gang-bangers or ... Oh, wait ... maybe the little girl in the red dress, she looks like she might be a crack dealer.
 
Look at those feathery gangbangers![shocked] Why I bet after they get done mugging and shooting people they'll poop all over the road! (referring to Canadian geese) We must stop this Canadian menace!
 
Yeh, seeing the geese makes me think of guns. I'd like to shoot every last one of them because they poop all over.
 
This line really caught my attention;

The Boston group and others want to change a national law that prevents the public from knowing where crime guns originate.

Anybody know if this is true ? How would a law like this serve the good od the public ? The only reason I could see for a law such as this to exist is to support a propaganda machine.

We can't have citizens making informed choices about elected officials based on facts now can we ? [thinking]
 
MrTwigg said:
Anybody know if this is true ? How would a law like this serve the good od the public ? The only reason I could see for a law such as this to exist is to support a propaganda machine.

We can't have citizens making informed choices about elected officials based on facts now can we ? [thinking]
Because such tracing info is the blood on which the trial attorney sharks hired by the left wing intelligentsia to sue the gun industry into bankruptcy thrive.
 
drgrant said:
The subterfuge in DC though is that nobody wants that to happen,
because they know that if a good case got to the supremes, that the gun
controllers would lose big time. The whole federal gun control spiel
is very "weak" when it comes to the standards of interstate
commerce. There is a myriad of laws which are "over the line" jurisdiction
wise, EG, how is brady/NICS relevant for someone whos buying a firearm
from a dealer in the same state they reside in? That transaction, on its
face, is NOTa part of "interstate" commerce. In theory, the BATFE should only
have the authority to regulate gun sales between individuals in different states,
nothing more, with the states basically left to make up any other
rules. They've extended far beyond that....

The problem with 10th Amendment or Article I Section 8 challenges is that, with the exception of Lopez (from which they now seem to be slowly back-tracking) the general interpretation of the courts seems to be pretty much along the lines of "people are free to travel from one state to another, therefore anything that involves people constitutes interstate commerce."

Ken
 
What pisses me off most is that dumbass politicians actually think that by enacting just one more law criminals will turn around and say "Golly gee, I guess what I'm doing is wrong!" Licensed gun owners hardly ever commit crimes, this is shown in both "free" and "restrictive" states. Menino seems blind to the fact that criminals don't follow the law.
 
Kalahari said:
What pisses me off most is that dumbass politicians actually think that by enacting just one more law criminals will turn around and say "Golly gee, I guess what I'm doing is wrong!" Licensed gun owners hardly ever commit crimes, this is shown in both "free" and "restrictive" states. Menino seems blind to the fact that criminals don't follow the law.
No, the antis attempt to act new gun control laws to make it more difficult for you, the legal/responsible gun owner to possess guns. Make it harder, maybe you won't bother.
They're getting one step closer to a total ban every time a new gun control law is passed. That is their goal.
 
Deep down, I think that these gun grabbing, bleeding heart libtards are just trying to strike back at the world after growing up in an environment where they were all picked last for dodge ball.

When I travel around the country and people find out I'm from Mass they make all kinds of assumptions - I must be a welfare centric, liberal, booze guzzling, Kennedy loving, mamby pamby fool. How shocked are they when they find that behind my long hair and earring lies a squirrelly republican?

Our Massachusetts forefathers must be rolling over in their graves and tossing their cookies over our 'free society'. What's next, housing foreign soldiers in oour homes? Gee, I think there was some significant fallout after that happened 'last' time...

While I believe that anyone with the means to do so should be able to put up any billboard they wish, within good taste, I'd really love to see NH, Maine, and VT come down and spank the owner of this beauty and Menino big fat ass too. Sort of a two-fer, making it worth the trip! Hell, I'll even chip in for gas and snacks :)
 
runJonnyrun said:
I'd really love to see NH, Maine, and VT come down and spank the owner of this beauty and Menino big fat ass too. Sort of a two-fer, making it worth the trip! Hell, I'll even chip in for gas and snacks :)

I'd pay to see it ! Would be a good show ! [popcorn]
 
Just wait and see what happens if a democrat is elected governor here in November...oh boy, the fun is really going to begin then! There will be nothing to stop them from going as far as they want at that point.

JonJ said:
No, the antis attempt to act new gun control laws to make it more difficult for you, the legal/responsible gun owner to possess guns. Make it harder, maybe you won't bother.
They're getting one step closer to a total ban every time a new gun control law is passed. That is their goal.
 
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