BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation is calling upon the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to open a criminal investigation into what may be a publicly-admitted straw purchase of a handgun in New Hampshire involving the head of a Massachusetts anti-gun organization and a columnist for the Boston Globe.
SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said today that remarks made by John Rosenthal, head of Stop Handgun Violence and a co-founder of the anti-gun American Hunting and Shooting Association, and Globe columnist Steve Bailey during a segment on WRKO AM on July 10 “strongly suggest they were involved in an illegal gun purchase.”
“Bailey and Rosenthal traveled from Massachusetts to New Hampshire where Rosenthal reportedly asked a dealer at a gun show whether he could buy a handgun,” Gottlieb said. “When the dealer learned Rosenthal was a Massachusetts resident, he declined to sell him a gun. At that point, Rosenthal allegedly asked if a companion, who was a New Hampshire resident, could buy the gun and the dealer agreed. Rosenthal, in an interview with Gun Week, claimed that the dealer clearly knew this was a straw sale.
“The irony here,” he observed, “is that Rosenthal has tried to portray this dealer as having conducted a straw sale, but what he is also describing is a straw purchase. There are two sides to any such crime, and the buyer – and the person who initiated that purchase – would be just as criminally liable as the seller of the gun.
“We think federal authorities should find out where that gun is now, who ultimately paid for it, and whether Rosenthal, Bailey and the New Hampshire resident participated in a conspiracy to conduct this transaction,” Gottlieb noted.
“Private citizens, whether they run anti-gun organizations, write for newspapers or happen to be the anti-gun mayor of New York City, cannot conduct straw purchases or hire someone else to do it and then claim it was in the public interest,” Gottlieb concluded. “We believe a crime, or multiple crimes, may have been committed here, and we encourage the BATF to investigate. If it turns out Rosenthal, Bailey and their companion did break the law, we expect them to be prosecuted.”