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ATF Enforcement in Philadelphia

Looking over this very interesting post on ATF enforcement patterns at SayUncle, it would seem the City of Philadelphia refers a great number of cases over to federal prosecutors for violations of federal gun laws.  The feds took only 238 of the 1578 cases that were referred to them.  The top reason for our district was “Minimal federal interest, or no deterrent value.”

So if the feds aren’t using the laws to go after actual violent criminals, but are using the law to go after people like Wayne Fincher, David Olafson, and various other folks who are no threat to polite society, what use are they really in terms of public safety?  What is the “federal interest” in sending hobbyists to federal prison, but not violent felons?

7 Responses to “ATF Enforcement in Philadelphia”

  1. Mikee says:

    1. Fed prosecution of hobbyists deters other hobbyists from lots of things.
    2. Fed prosecution of a minor thing can be used to penalize lots of other things the person might have been doing, which were less prosecutable.
    3. Fed prosecution of one criminal does little to deter any other local criminal unless the penalty is more severe than the locals get in state, county, or city courts; and also deters nobody else, if the rest of the criminals face little likelihood of similar prosecution.

    4. Let Philly sink. Why should my Texas-based federal tax dollars go to solving Philly’s local crime problem? As far as I can tell, Philly locals don’t want to use their own resources to solve the problem. They are not using the prosecutorial powers they already have against gun-using criminals.

  2. Kevin Baker says:

    What is the “federal interest” in sending hobbyists to federal prison, but not violent felons?

    They answered your question, Sebastian: “Deterrent value.”

    Prosecuting thugs has no deterrent value. Prosecuting hobbyists? Plenty of deterrent value.

    Ask the British about that.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Actually, Mike… I agree with you on number four, and suspect the reason Philly turns so many cases over to the feds is because they don’t want to expend time and money prosecuting these guys themselves, and don’t feel like paying to keep them in prison either.

    The feds, obviously, turn most of them down because they don’t want to pay out of their budgets to do the City’s job for them. I can’t say I blame the feds for this.

    But it does raise the question of why we have so many federal gun laws, if they aren’t going to be used on criminals. That’s the point, right?

  4. R.J. says:

    Simple. Violent felons have a reputation for shooting back. The hobbyist doesn’t.

  5. SayUncle says:

    ‘Violent felons have a reputation for shooting back. The hobbyist doesn’t.’

    I’ve said that countless times.

  6. “What is the “federal interest” in sending hobbyists to federal prison, but not violent felons?”

    1. It’s safer (see RJ’s comment above).

    2. Pour encourager les autres (put another way, “deterrent value,” as Kevin pointed out).

  7. anon says:

    Pretty common in urban areas, the obvious issue is libtard prosecutors. Their thinking goes something like this:

    Just take away the evil gun and he won’t be a criminal any more! No need to prosecute! Just confiscate the gun and turn him loose. What could possibly go wrong?

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  1. SayUncle » ATF at Work - Regional Patterns in Enforcement - [...] Ouch: So if the feds arent using the laws to go after actual violent criminals, but are using the…
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