Much of our soaring homicide rate can be attributed to gang violence. Gang members seem to be hunting one another down and killing each other with alarming regularity. If it wasn’t for the fact that innocents also get injured and killed during these shootings, I’d be inclined to just shrug it off myself.
But they are and so I can’t.
Yet gang members are often convicted felons. How are they getting guns?
Twin brothers from Gresham are facing federal charges for illegally purchasing 82 firearms from gun shops in the Portland area, dating back to April 2020. Officials said those guns have been linked to at least 10 shootings in the Portland area.
Edward Charles Green and Thomas Edward Green III, both 23, are self-identified members of the Unthank Park Hustlers, a local Bloods gang set, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. They are charged with falsifying information in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and making false statements in a federal firearms licensee record.
Nah. Couldn’t be. Doing that would be illegal and criminals never break the law, or so I’ve been led to believe by our friends over at the gun control side of the debate.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opened an investigation in May 2021, according to court documents, after receiving information from Gresham Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) that allegedly connected the Green brothers to several shootings. ATF agents had also received information that suggested they had made multiple illegal firearm purchases, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Between April 5, 2020 and August 30, 2021, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies recovered 12 firearms illegally purchased by the Green brothers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On April 5, 2020, Portland police responded to a shooting on Southeast Alder Street involving the Greens where a gun was fired from one apartment into another.
On April 23, 2020, Portland police officers responded to reports of a house struck by bullets on Northeast Sumner Street. Police found that the gun appeared to have been fired from inside the Greens’ father’s home, and the bullet left a small hole in the father’s front window. He initially told police he threw a rock through his window, but changed his story and told officers the gun accidentally fired while he was showing his son how to clean it. Police found and seized three handguns and an AK-47 from the home. After reviewing Edward Green’s purchase records, ATF agents found Green had purchased three of those four guns illegally.
Honestly, the list goes on and on.
All told, the brothers are believed to have purchased 82 firearms illegally.
Well, those Oregon gun control laws are just doing a bang-up job, now aren’t they?
ATF agents were able to work with Oregon state officials and look at records within the state to piece together the Greens purchasing histories. In other words, the brothers were apparently able to purchase the guns from lawful gun stores because nothing came up during criminal background checks.
That’s kind of out the window now. Allegedly.
Oregon isn’t exactly a gun-friendly state. It’s not like they’re swimming in supposedly lax gun laws or anything, yet these two were able to basically arm their entire gang and half of the rest of the neighborhood without any real issue.
For some, this is evidence we need more gun laws. Yet the problem is that there’s no law you can create that would have stopped these two from getting those guns and providing them to fellow gang members. Nothing at all.
Yet what you can do is make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get one. Oh, people like the Green brothers might have a harder time too, but they’ll still get the guns anyway, meaning all the hoops created still wouldn’t have done anything.