Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"Mayors Against Illegal Guns" Gets Jeff Speaker

It's possible that Jeff Speaker, Mayor of Brookfield, is confused.

He's joined "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," joining Barrett of Milwaukee, Taylor of Franklin, Cieslewicz of Madistan, Nelson of Waukesha, and Deiss of West Bend.

"Mayors Against.." is a Mike Bloomberg-funded front group. The title's nice, but the agenda is not.

Bloomberg['s] ...current obsession is pushing for repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment.

...[T]his amendment, which must be passed annually, protects the privacy of everyone who buys guns at retail. It limits the disclosure of firearm trace data to law enforcement agencies working on a bona fide criminal investigation. It specifically prohibits the information from being released to lawsuit-happy mayors who are on fishing expeditions to blame their urban crime problem on the nation's law-abiding gun dealers and buyers.

Since Speaker is an ex-street cop, you'd think he'd know better. Current cops do:

[W]hat are the real views of law enforcement groups and agencies--not individuals who are old buddies of gun control supporters--on the Tiahrt Amendment?

Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), answered that question in a recent newspaper commentary. Canterbury wrote that, "Some of America's mayors, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and Thomas M. Menino of Boston, would like you to believe that their Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition is about fighting illegal firearms in their cities and across the country. It's not."

"The principal goal of this coalition is the repeal of language that has repeatedly been passed into law for the past several years that prevents information on gun traces collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from being given to mayors pursuing civil litigation suits against firearm dealers and manufacturers."

Canterbury points out that officers working gun trafficking cases "know that releasing sensitive information about pending cases can jeopardize the integrity of an investigation or even place the lives of undercover officers in danger." That's why, he says, the FOP "has always supported language protecting firearms trace data, now known as the Tiahrt Amendment."

It's not likely that Speaker ever worked a gun-trace case; it is absolutely certain that Speaker's experience in the City of Brookfield involved a lot more radar-trapping than serious drug-gang pursuit.

But Jeff ought to know better than to climb into bed with Cieslewicz, Nelson, and Barrett on general principles.

And he ought to resign and get his membership money back.

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