New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused Virginia Attorney General Robert McDonnell of defending “rogue gun dealers” as a spat between the two Republicans intensified over stings at Virginia gun shops, the Washington Post reports. Bloomberg called McDonnell’s efforts to stop New York from sending undercover agents into Virginia to search for illegal gun sales a “bizarre position for the commonwealth’s top law enforcement official to hold.” McDonnell repeated his warnings that Bloomberg will violate a new state law if he continues to send undercover agents into Virginia after July 1. He also accused the mayor of the nation’s largest city of meddling.
“It is not the job of the mayor of New York to enforce the criminal laws of Virginia,” said McDonnell. Bloomberg has been arming private investigators with hidden cameras and sending them into Virginia gun stores to try to make illegal buys. The process involves “straw purchases,” in which one person legally fills out a form and buys a gun for someone else. New York has filed suit against 27 gun dealers over such practices, including six in Virginia. Va. Gov. Timothy Kaine said he would urge Virginia State Police to cooperate with Bloomberg. Kaine made it clear he supports the new law requiring state or federal law enforcement officials be present during such investigations.