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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 30, 2014 at 7:07 AM

‘Lost Guns’: Enforce the gun laws already on the books

Prospective buyers preview guns for sale at the James G. Murphy Co. auction of Kesselring Gun Shop inventory earlier this month in Sedro-Woolley. The shop was a fixture in Skagit County for decades but had failed for years to comply with federal regulations. (MARK HARRISON / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Reporter Mike Carter’s rather alarming article “Lost Guns” about the recent closure of the nationally known Kesselring Gun Shop in Burlington illustrates just how pointless the current debate over gun control really is [“Skagit County gun shop may have been worst in U.S.,” Local News, April 26].

The Kesselring story is a deplorable account of years upon years of a licensed gun store continually violating virtually every firearms law on the books. In 2005, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) inspection of Kesselring found 2,396 guns “unaccounted for.” Yet Kesselring was allowed, without the requirement for any apparent corrective action, to remain in business for almost a decade more.

How could the ATF ignore violations of this magnitude for another nine years before finally taking action? Where were state and local law-enforcement officials who obviously knew about Kesselring’s lax procedures, yet allowed the store to continue supplying weapons of all types to individuals who in many cases had no legal right to purchase or own them?

Let’s stop all the posturing and empty rhetoric about the need for more gun control until we can enforce the laws we already have.

Bob Stevens, Seattle

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: ATF, Bob Stevens, gun laws

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