The handgun used to shoot a Milwaukee police officer last week has been traced to Badger Guns, making that store the sole supplier of all the guns used to wound six officers in two years, police said.
Nine of 10 straw buyers prosecuted since 2007 made their purchases at Badger Guns or its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, a review of court records shows. In the past five years, the store accounted for 21 of the 27 cases prosecuted.
Three miles away there's another gun shop, The Shooters Shop in West Allis. It accounted for 3% of the crime guns recovered by Milwaukee from 2006 to Sept. 1 of this year. Badger accounted for 30% of crime guns during the same time. Of course volume has something to do with it.
Now there's a quote for you, "It's called conscience." When the crime guns traced to a particular store are as many as this, one has to question the "conscience" of the owner. Nugent also said, "you have to take personal responsibility." I like this guy.
The Shooters Shop's owner, Kevin Nugent, disputed Badger's argument that its high numbers are explained by its sales volume and proximity to Milwaukee. Nugent said he prevents straw purchases by closely questioning everyone who comes in his business.
"It's called a conscience," Nugent said. "When you are selling a firearm, you have to take personal responsibility to know that you are selling an instrument that could be used for harmful purposes."
What's your opinion? Does the mounting evidence against Badger make you wonder about their practices? What can be done to prevent a gun shop owner from having the shoulder-shrugging, it's-not-my-fault attitude about straw purchases? Why do lawful gun owners get defensive about guys like this? If I were a clean and honest gun owner, I wouldn't touch a place like Badger guns with a ten foot pole. How about you?
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