The news in a Chicago Sun-Times report last week, “Judge orders release of man charged with straw purchase of gun allegedly used to kill Officer Ella French,” was infuriating.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert on Wednesday had ordered the release of an Indiana man charged by the feds with acting as the so-called straw purchaser of the gun that killed Chicago Police Officer Ella French. Shockingly, Gilbert didn’t think Danzy’s repeated illegal straw purchasing of firearms for criminals made him a “danger to the community.”
An illegal straw purchase is when a gun buyer lies on the federal background check form at a retail store in order to buy a gun for someone else who would fail the background check. Reducing illegal straw purchases of firearms is a major priority for the firearm industry.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation — the industry’s trade association — has a two-decade partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help educate firearm retailers to detect and avoid illegal straw purchases. It’s called “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.”
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NSSF, ATF and Department of Justice officials relaunched the campaign in Chicago earlier this summer, reminding the public that lying on a background check to buy a gun for someone who cannot legally do so themself is a serious felony with the possibility of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Firearm retailers take straw purchases seriously. It is their communities that are devastated when a straw purchase occurs, and the gun is used in a violent crime. Funded by NSSF, the “Don’t Lie” initiative is just one part of the industry’s overall Real Solutions campaign designed to help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
If convicted for his alleged crime, Jamel Danzy deserves to go to prison for a very long time. Unlike his bail, that will send a strong message to others about the consequences of illegally purchasing firearms.
Lawrence G. Keane
Senior vice president and general counsel for government affairs
National Shooting Sports Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Police officers, FOP shunning Mayor Lightfoot
The Chicago Police Department is being poorly served by the Fraternal Order of Police. In the midst of the crime and gun violence Chicago is enduring, must the FOP align itself against the city’s leadership? They are only promoting more divisiveness.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is, in reality, pro-police. Let’s get down to business, forget all this phony posturing and get the weapons off our streets. True police reform supports officers who serve and protect.
Harriette Dawson, Glencoe