Hundreds of people who lied on applications for gun permits in Massachusetts and dozens of corrupt gun dealers have gone unpunished by federal officials, says a study by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. The Boston Herald says the report ranks Massachusetts 47th in the nation in prosecuting felons who possess firearms or who committed a violent felony with a firearm from 2000 to 2003. Some 245 such felons were prosecuted in the state during that time – a low figure compared to other states per capita.
The report found that U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan’s office prosecuted just 12 of 505 Bay Staters caught lying on federal gun applications between 2000 and 2003. Sullivan’s office also prosecuted just one case involving a corrupt gun dealer during the same years even though federal agents found violations in 29 percent of their 193 inspections, the study said. “Dirty dealers are a major source of crime guns,” said John Lacey, spokesman for foundation. “These are crimes that fall on the back of the federal government and they’re not prosecuting them.” U.S. Attorney’s aides said most gun dealer violations are civil infractions that aren’t federally prosecuted and that the office last month prosecuted three accused gun-runners.