June 21, 2011
NSSF Responds to NYT Editorial
The following letter to the editor was submitted to the New York Times earlier today in response to the editorial, “Hypocrisy, Locked and Loaded.”
June 21, 2011
The New York Times
Letters to the Editor
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
To the Editor:
A recent report from the independent research group STRATFOR determined that less than 12 percent of the guns seized in Mexico came from the United States (“Hypocrisy, Locked and Loaded,” June 2, 2011) In fact, according to ATF statistics the average age of recovered firearms in Mexico is more than 14 years past the original date of purchase, a clear indicator that these firearms were not recently straw purchased in the United States.
Semi-automatic rifles, incorrectly categorized as so-called ‘assault weapons,’ are not machine guns, but modern sporting rifles (firing only one round per pull of the trigger) that are used every day by law-abiding Americans for the shooting sports, hunting and home protection. Since 2004, when the “assault weapons” ban expired, modern sporting rifles have fast become one of the most popular types of firearms for law-abiding Americans to purchase. During this time period of increased firearm sales, the crime level has continued to drop – at points, precipitously.
ATF has conducted nearly 2000 inspections of firearms dealers along the border. The result? Not a single dealer was charged with committing any crime and only 2 (or 0.01%) had their licenses revoked for unknown reasons that could have nothing to do with the cartels.
We respect and applaud President Calderon’s willingness take on his country’s powerful drug cartels, and we agree that crime needs to be addressed in Mexico; however, diminishing the civil rights of law-abiding Americans is neither an option nor a solution.
Lawrence G. Keane
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
National Shooting Sports Foundation