New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is one of the loudest anti-gun voices in the nation. And as a multi-billionaire, he is able to put his money where his mouth is. He has spent millions of dollars to send private investigators to gun shows, where they secretly videotape dealers making illegal sales. But one politician wants to keep Bloomberg's undercover stings out of West Virginia.
State Senator Jeffrey Kessler has introduced what he calls the "Bloomberg Bill," that would make it illegal for anyone who "persuades, encourages or entices" a gun dealer to make an illegal sale.
"It's not appropriate for any other law enforcement, absent the feds, to engage in gun buys - or try to entrap with gun buys - within our borders," Kessler said. "If there are violations, they should be investigated by clearly recognized law enforcement in our state, rather than by bringing in hired goons to do it."
Bloomberg has said the sting operations are necessary to keep illegal guns out of New York. His spokesman, Jason Post, said the mayor would not back down.
"This legislation gets it exactly backward. The city has never broken the law, but we have caught unscrupulous gun dealers selling in violation of federal law," Post said. "Because 90% of guns used in crimes in New York City come from out of state, we have been forced to go outside our own borders to keep New Yorkers safe."
Post would not say whether more sting operations are in the works.