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Friday, January 26, 2007

Ohio Gunrunning: Brady Ctr. Sees 'Shady' Dealers

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says Ohio has become a haven for illegal gunrunners and traffickers. A report this week names four dealers and contends licensed gun shops "often are complicit" but nothing ever happens to them. According to the Brady Center, the gun trade is: "All reward and little risk."

The Ohio dealers it cites are in Dayton, Gallipolis, Wilmington and North College Hill, a suburb of Cincinnati. "In each case, gunrunners were prosecuted, but the dealers who supplied them suffered no legal sanctions,'' the anti-gun organization said.

The report is called Shady Dealings and documents a dozen cases from around the country, including the four from Ohio. Brady Center officials have tried to tie gun sales to violence in cities, and they use Philadelphia, which had 406 homicides last year, as an example of a community suffering profound gun violence.

"Congress needs to give law enforcement the tools it needs to crack down on the prime suppliers of illegal guns -- rogue gun dealers who enable gun traffickers to conduct their deadly business,'' said Paul Helmke, the Brady Center's president. "The last Congress, at the behest of the gun lobby, actually considered weakening federal enforcement power against corrupt dealers. Thankfully, this effort was stopped. Now it is a new day in Washington. The flaws in federal law that protect corrupt gun dealers could be easily fixed if the new Congress embraces the public's interests."

The Brady Center is a national non-profit organization that hopes to reduce gun violence in the nation by education, research, legal advocacy and legislative action. It is named for Jim Brady, who was President Ronald Reagan's press secretary and was seriously wounded during when Reagan was shot in 1981

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