Monday, February 15th 2010, 4:00 AM; West Virginia has a message for Mayor Bloomberg: Don't come 'round here to buy our guns.
A legislator there wants to ban the type of undercover stings that Bloomberg has used to showcase illegal gun sales in other states - and throw the mayor's investigators in jail if necessary. "It's for us to handle within our own borders," said state Sen. Jeffrey Kessler, who is running for governor in 2012.
"We jealously guard our gun rights, and we're vocal advocates for the Second Amendment." He calls his proposal the "Bloomberg bill" - a reflection of how Bloomberg's anti-gun crusade has made him public enemy No. 1 to gun lovers. The mayor has spent millions hiring private investigators to videotape gun dealers seemingly violating federal law - selling weapons to people who say they couldn't pass a background check, or who appear to be straw purchasers on behalf of others.
"It may be good for getting headlines, but it may well be compromising actual law enforcement activities," Kessler said. "He's not a federal law enforcement officer." Bloomberg has defended the stings as necessary to keep out-of-state guns from ending up on New York streets and in the hands of criminals. He has put the videos on YouTube and mailed copies to Congress. A spokesman refused to say whether more are in progress.
NEW YORK UNDERCOVER REPORT;
Gun shows linked to Columbine: On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School with four firearms, killing a teacher and twelve students and injuring twenty-three additional students. All four guns were bought at gun shows from private sellers. Because they were too young to purchase a gun, Harris and Klebold convinced Robyn Anderson, an 18-year old senior, to assist them. In a statement to the Colorado House Judiciary Committee, Anderson reported “I wish it would have been more difficult. I wouldn’t have helped them buy the guns if I had faced a criminal background check.”
Gun shows linked to terrorists: In 2001, Ali Boumelhem was caught attempting to ship to Hezbollah a shipment containing ammunition, shotguns, parts of AR-15 assault rifles, flash suppressors, and speed loaders. He and his brother Mohamed had purchased the arsenal of weapons from Michigan gun shows, investigations have linked gun shows to potential terrorists in Florida and Texas.
The Investigators; A team of 40 private investigators supervised by the global firm, Kroll, Inc. worked for four months to capture video of gun shows. Licensed as private investigators in 17 different states, these men and women have more than 460 years of combined law enforcement experience and included many retired federal agents and police officers. Participants were chosen based on their prior experience conducting undercover operations and performance in carefully constructed simulation exercises. Every investigator who participated in the integrity tests was required to complete an intensive training designed and administered by Kroll.
Investigators were also taught how to properly use sophisticated video and audio recording devices. Pin Hole Cameras were concealed in baseball hats (SEE MINE ABOVE) and purses and had lenses no larger than the tip of a ballpoint pen. The synchronized audio recording devices were concealed in watches.
Bill Warner Director of CSPI..Covert Surveillance by Private Investigators at WBI Inc.