BELLEVUE, WA – Yesterday’s release of aggregate gun trace data in the New York City region by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) once again puts the lie to long-standing claims by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that this data is not available to law enforcement, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

William G. McMahon, ATF Special Agent in Charge for the ATF’s New York field division, released the data for 2006 on Thursday.

“No matter what the data shows – and it contains no surprises for anyone who understands the firearms black market – the most significant fact of all is that the ATF has once again demonstrated that this data is available for on-going, legitimate criminal investigations,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Of course, this probably went right over the heads of anti-gunners, including Mayor Bloomberg, who probably do not realize that the ATF just exploded their big lie.

“Special Agent McMahon struck a huge blow for truth, because the release of this 2006 trace activity shows that police in New York City are asking for, and getting, critical gun trace data,” he added. “But to hear Bloomberg and his cronies in the anti-gun Mayors Coalition, local police are stymied by a federal law that protects this sensitive trace data from being exploited for political aggrandizement.

“One other important thing to keep in perspective about this data is that it proves beyond doubt that restrictive gun control laws in New York and elsewhere, including one-gun-a-month laws in other states, waiting periods and federal background checks do not prevent criminals from getting guns,” Gottlieb observed. “These laws, and other gun control measures, only restrict the rights of honest citizens.

“Perhaps equally important,” he concluded, “is that harassment lawsuits against the firearms industry and individual firearms retailers also do not stop determined criminals from committing crimes with guns they obtain illegally. And, for that matter, neither do vigilante sting operations, conducted by anti-gun mayors and their rogue private investigators.”