ATF arrests man for renting out guns bought with stolen ID

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The reason we have a background check system in place, in theory, is so that people who cannot lawfully purchase firearms won’t be able to buy one. I say “in theory” because we know that in the decades since the background check law went into effect, criminals have had no problems with getting guns at all.

While the law means they can’t walk into a gun store, present their driver’s license, and walk out with a lawfully purchased firearm, it doesn’t do anything to stop them from buying on the black market. Nor does it stop them from stealing.

However, even with NICS checks, criminals have ways of buying guns in gun stores, too.

Many of the guns rented out by a Pontiac man have been used for crimes, according to the ATF.

“This isn’t the old Blockbuster. You can’t just rent a gun use it for a few days and put it in the bin after you are done with it,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Paul Vanderplow.

But according to the federal complaint – that’s exactly how Bryce Cato of Pontiac treated it. He would often use credit cards to purchase guns online and have them shipped, or buy locally.

Cato would allegedly rent firearms for a fee. That was his business, and when the person didn’t return the gun – the price went up.

Vanderplow says the scheme started to unravel when Bryce Cato allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase the weapon without a legal right.

So where did they get the money to buy all of these guns? On top of the rental fees, Vanderplow says Cato would hack into internet sites, purchase social security personal information, and use it to steal money designated for the unemployed in California.

Based on the story’s headline, it appears Cato also used that stolen social security info to obtain IDs that he then used to pass the background checks required for the firearms he’d later rent out.

Quite the little enterprise, don’t you think?

So, gun control folks, just what law do you think needs to be passed to stop this from happening short of, maybe, banning all firearm sales? What’s that? Nothing?

You’re starting to get it, then.

Cato is accused of breaking the law at pretty much every stage of the process. One more law is unlikely to stop him.

At this point, even a total ban on firearm sales would be unlikely to deter someone like that. They’d just find another way to make money for the illicit trade of firearms.

What truly infuriates me is that these guns are going to be counted as having been purchased at a gun store in any study looking at where weapons used in crime come from. There won’t be any effort to differentiate between these and the Glock you purchased last week while following all of the laws.

And there’s a huge difference.

Cato allegedly lied and stole at every point in the process. There’s no way his actions should be held against law-abiding gun owners.