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December 1, 2011 - 9:23am

Corfu resident among those arrested in statewide sting operation at gun shows

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, corfu, guns.

A Corfu resident, William Smith, is among 10 people arrested statewide following an investigation into allegedly illegal gun sales at gun shows throughout the state.

Among the shows investigators visited during the investigation was one in Alexander on June 19.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman initiated the sting operation to look for people willing to sell guns without the required background check.

According to officials, investigators explicity stated they needed a gun but could not pass a background check.

From the press release:

"The illegal sale of guns at gun shows endangers the public by giving felons, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill an open and anonymous marketplace to buy guns without a background check. Our investigators found a blatant disregard for the law where sellers made the conscious decision to sell deadly weapons to individuals who admitted they would not pass a background check," said Attorney General Schneiderman.

"Operation Background Bust not only exposed major flaws in the gun show laws but also proved how ‘off the books’ operations jeopardize public safety by making it easy for guns to fall into the wrong hands. In addition to filing criminal charges against the sellers, and demanding that the gun show operators cease and desist from engaging in illegal practices, my office plans to work with the legislature to hold gun show operators liable when guns are sold at their gun shows without the required background check."

Click here for the full press release from the AG's office.

Doug Yeomans
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Two words: Absolutely ridiculous! More anti-gun wing-nuts spinning their gloom and doom propaganda aimed at legitimate gun shows. We better close down every pharmacy in the world because a few shifty pharmacists run pill-mills! C'mon, there will always be a few bad apples ruining it for everyone else.

All I can say is if you want to know who the real criminals are, Google "Fast and Furious" to see who the largest offender is for arming terrorists, criminals and the mentally ill around the world. It isn't the guy next door, that's for sure.

Is William Smith an idiot "IF..IF" the allegations are true? Certainly, but I really have learned to scrutinize any "sworn" testimony from law enforcement and government officials. Need I say more on that subject?

Tim Miller
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The gun show loophole where "collectors" can sell without the same background checks as dealers is wide enough to drive a truck through, and needs to be tightened.

Yet as Mr. Yeoman points out - it is a small percentage of the collectors who are exploiting the loophole. Take care of them, and most of the problems will be taken care of. Unfortunately, until they are taken care of gun shows will have a nasty shadow.

John Woodworth JR
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From the press release:

"The illegal sale of guns at gun shows endangers the public by giving felons, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill an open and anonymous marketplace to buy guns without a background check.

This statement is true for the "dangerously mentally ill." However, the comment reflecting felons and terrorists is more likely a falsehood.

I do not know of any cases involving known felons or terrorist using gun show to acquire weapons. Acquiring through theft, black market or international arms dealers is the way these entities go.

Doug Yeomans
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Tim, I remember a time when "gun" wasn't a 4 letter word. In 1995 when I decided to go on a Caribou hunting trip in the Northwest Territories, I needed an appropriate hunting rifle and found it in the swap sheet. I called the phone number and drove to Pittsford, NY to purchase a Ruger model 1-B in 7mm Win Mag. There was no background check and nobody had a fit about the gun listings in the swap sheet. The only requirement was to show up with the $700 for the rifle fitted with a Leupold scope and to shake hands sealing the deal.

When I showed up at the Canadian border and declared that I did indeed possess a high powered rifle and requested entry to their country, there was no hysteria or narrow minded panic. They simply asked me details of my itinerary and then they said "have a great time." I harvested 2 caribou, spent quality time with Inuit guides, saw endless square miles of Canadian tundra and re-entered the states with my bounty and firearm intact.

This all happened before the mass hysteria concerning gun shows and the "OMG factor" surrounding background checks. These so-called loopholes are so blown out of proportion. There's nothing stopping anyone from buying a gun privately from another person without a background check. It's perfectly legal but the gun dealers catch hell for it if they do the same thing.

Tim, only gun dealers (people who make a living from selling guns) have to perform a background check. If William Smith was not a gun dealer, he didn't need to perform a background check and he can sell his guns to anyone he wants. The "gunshow loophole" is an inaccurate description of something that doesn't exist: http://triggerfinger.org/weblog/group/category/arms_control/gun_show_loo...

John Woodworth JR
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Well put Doug. Sounds like you had great time in Canada. I want to travel back to Montana to do some Elk hunting.

Doug Yeomans
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John, I liked it so much that I went back in April of 1998 for a Muskoxen hunt. That trip went much the same way as the hunt in 1995. I arrived at the border, declared the firearms in my possession and away I went. I bagged a huge bull on April the 13th, the 6th day of a 6 day hunt and also my father's birthday.

I've always wanted to go on an elk hunt..maybe one of these days....

John Woodworth JR
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My first experience with bring firearms across the Canadian Border was easy but, coming back was difficult. You will laugh at this. We doing our heavy weapons qual in Canadian, we brought three (03) M-249 (S.A.W./5.56 NATO RD) and three (03) M-240B (Replaced the M-60/7.62 NATO RD) with 30K rounds of ammo and the Canadians welcomed us with open arms. Even though we looked more like we were invading with all our equipment and vehicles. However, coming back we had an issue with our side. They asked more questions about our reason to travel in Canada, length of stay, where we were and why we chose Canada to travel to over state side ranges (distance and cost, cheaper and closer in Canada).

It was like that when I returned from the first Gulf War in 1991. Back then we traveled in "dress A" uniforms. My parents decided instead of flying to England to visit me, they flew my wife and I back here. It was $600 cheaper to fly me into Toronto, then Buffalo or Rochester. It was another hour-hour and a half travel. So, when we came to our side, I am in my Blues and the Border/Customs Officer treated my family and I like criminals. I know they have to ask certain questions but, his demeanor and professionalism was lacking. It was bad enough that I started being arse back to him. He asked where I was coming from and I said several places and mention I just returned to England from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. His first words were "Why were you there?" So, I reply saving his arse and help safeguarding his freedoms to be arse to my family and me. Well that was not my best move or chose. Eventually his supervisor came over and apologized to us for his officer's conduct.

Doug Yeomans
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Hey John, thanks for your service! It means a lot to me as both of my parents were military. My dad was in the airforce and worked on the .50 cals in the tail section of the B-52 bombers. My mom was in the army reserves (817th evac unit in Webster, NY - now defunct) for many years and taught triage medics how to save a soldier's life.

C. M. Barons
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...Not the same situation, but... I crossed into Canada to visit a used book store. At Canadian customs the official gave me tips on two other bookstores and wished me well. On the way back (at U. S. customs) despite a pile of books on the passenger seat, the agent distrusted my reason for travel and questioned, "You couldn't find any bookstores in the U. S.?" The books were in English- not Spanish or Arabic. They had no reason to be nor were they concealed in brown wrapper. I have to assume the jerk either owned stock in B & N or harbored bitterness after failing the test to enter the FBI. I considered the fact, we had an anti-intellectual president at the time.

John Woodworth JR
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That is awesome Doug. I come from a large family who are all very PRO-MILITARY. I have relative in every branch of service, even a couple Puddle Jumpers (USCG). My oldest son was born on the Marine Corps birthday and my youngest was born on the Air Force birthday. I hope all my children consider the military, even if it is just for a single tour of duty. I believe everyone should service a four tour of duty with the branch of their choosing when they turn 18 years old. This would help in several areas of life. If, I ever go out to Montana to hunt Elk again, I will let you know.

C.M. it is amazing that they gave you a difficult time. Fortunately, not all of them are like that. I could see them acting like that if; you had bought “how to do it books on building WMDs”, lol. Do not know if you read a book called, "Black Banner?" It is written by a former FBI Agent, Ali Soufan. In his book it speaks of our overly aggressive C.I.A. Agents that hurt efforts with interrogating terrorist suspects. I enjoyed this book and think you would too. It is an account on how "la-Qaida" was established and how the Intelligence (CIA) and Criminal Agencies (FBI) failed to worked together (Thanks to Janet Reno and Clinton Administration). It also goes on to talk about how much Enhanced Interrogation Tactics (EIT) harmed our intelligence gathering and criminal prosecution of terrorists (Thanks to Rumsfeld and President Bush Administration).

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