Friday, March 01, 2013

Hypocrisy on ‘paperwork prosecutions’ highlighted by Reese case

Testimony in yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapon” bill produced at-times contentious exchanges between two witnesses for the bill, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn, and Sen. Lindsay Graham, particularly over the subject of non-prosecution of those who lie about their criminal histories on background checks.

“Nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns in 2010, according to Justice Department data, because they lied or provided inaccurate information about their criminal histories on background-check forms,” The New York Times reported in January. “Yet only 44 of those people were charged with a crime.”

“How many prosecutions “have you taken up for failing a background check since you’ve been U.S. Attorney?” Graham asked Walsh, who admitted “Off the top of my head, I’m not aware of any.”

“What kind of deterrent is that?” Graham challenged. “Why aren’t we prosecuting people who fail a background check?”

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