The federal government doesn’t really prosecute a lot of straw buyers. Part of the reason is that it’s often hard to determine who conducted a straw purchase and who just bought a gun and then later sold it or had it stolen. It’s kind of tricky to work out if it’s really a straw purchase or something else.
However, it seems the feds aren’t screwing around with the guy who allegedly purchased the gun used to kill a Chicago cop.
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against an Indiana man who allegedly acted as the so-called straw purchaser of the handgun used in the weekend shooting of two Chicago police officers.
Jamel Danzy, 29, of Hammond, was arrested Sunday and is being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing set for Wednesday afternoon. His lawyer noted during a court hearing Monday that he has no criminal history. He is charged with conspiracy to violate federal firearm laws.
The weekend shooting took the life of Officer Ella French, 29, and left another officer in critical condition. The feds’ decision to swiftly file charges in connection with French’s death followed a visit last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to Chicago, where he touted a new program meant to combat gun violence in Chicago and other cities.
That program is meant, in part, to target so-called straw-purchasers who use their clean records to help put guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. A federal judge recently handed an eight-month prison sentence to a straw-purchaser connected to a December 2019 mass shooting. Danzy faces a maximum of five years behind bars.
Of course, this would be the same murder of a Chicago police officer that Mayor Lori Lightfoot simply blamed on guns.
I said when I wrote the post on Monday that there was a very high likelihood that the firearm used was obtained illegally, and I was right. The straw buyer lived in Indiana and made the illegal purchase, which I’m sure Lightfoot will use to continue blaming Indiana for the incident, without ever recognizing that it was an illegal firearm sale in the first place.
Officer Ella French didn’t deserve what happened to her. We really shouldn’t be having to make political hay over her murder. Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice. Her murder is going to be used to justify the infringement of people’s civil liberties one way or another.
At the end of the day, though, Danzy is alleged to have committed an illegal act to put the gun in the hands of the accused shooter. The gun laws on the books failed. They failed because criminals will not be dissuaded from getting their hands on a gun. If it hadn’t been like this, he’d have found another way to get a gun. After all, he’d been convicted of felony theft. Seems like he wouldn’t be above stealing a firearm.
But he didn’t. He had someone commit a straw buy, and now that person is in deep trouble because of that.
What people need to understand, though, is that yes, this appears to have been a straw purchase at a time when Democrats are talking a lot about straw buys, but this isn’t how criminals typically get their guns. It’s one method, but not the most popular one.
Still, it’s how this shooter supposedly got his weapon, and the person who committed the straw buy is facing prosecution for it.