Two years ago, the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, made a solemn vow never to do business with a gun manufacturer or dealer that sold “assault weapons” to civilians.
Today, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has some egg on his face.
In 2018, following the mass murder at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, Kapszukiewicz told the residents of Toledo that his office would refuse to purchase firearms or ammunition from any company that did not meet a strict set of requirements.
“I am to the point where I am done. I’m done with the thoughts and prayers, tweets and the vacuous bromides coming from politicians, and the endless cycle of memorials and vigils,” he said at a press conference two years ago.
Kapszukiewicz developed six questions to determine whether a firearms dealer or manufacturer was worthy to sell its goods to the city. If a dealer failed any part of this six-part test, the mayor vowed to end the city’s relationship with that vendor.
- Do you manufacture assault weapons for civilian use?
- Do you sell assault weapons for civilian use?
- Which firearms does your company agree to not sell to civilians?
- Do you require your dealers to conduct background checks?
- Does your company have a plan in place to invest in gun and ammunition tracing technologies?
- Do you use, at a minimum, industry-best practices for inventory control and transactions?
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Of course, anyone with even a basic understanding of state and federal firearms law could see the ignorance of these questions. “Assault weapon,” for example, has never been consistently defined, so no company would be able to answer the first two questions. In addition, manufacturers don’t control whether dealers conduct background checks – those requirements are controlled by federal and state laws.
Kapszukiewicz soon got his dose of reality. According to a recent report from local Toledo news media, the city of Toledo still purchases “assault weapons” from a dealer that sells those firearms to civilians.
Vance Outdoors is the city’s primary weapons supplier, and according to a recently released copy of their questionnaire, they admitted to selling black rifles to the unwashed masses.
“‘Assault weapon’ is not a specific term, but yes, the company sells to civilians,” the company’s owner told the media.
Local journalists asked Kapszukiewicz about his apparent hypocrisy, and he explained that he hasn’t been able to find a dealer that can pass his six-part test.
“No companies meet our standard,” he said.
“We do have to purchase the weapons for our police department from companies that we don’t believe are responsible,” Kapszukiewicz continued. “We have to do it. We have no other choice. We’re certainly not going to allow our police officers to go out there without the tools they need to succeed. We know we don’t have any alternatives right now. What we’re trying to do is create alternatives.”
It looks like Kapszukiewicz’s vow was nothing more than a PR stunt, but the mayor claims that Colt’s decision to suspend sales of AR-type rifles to civilians can be attributed to his activism.
That argument, of course, is even more ridiculous than his six-part test. Everyone in the firearms industry knew that Colt’s decision was an economic one – with the glut of low-cost AR-15 options, Colt couldn’t compete in the civilian market.
Only time will tell if Kapszukiewicz can find a gun dealer that passes his wokeness test. We aren’t holding our breath.