Recently, an article appeared in the Journal of Urban Health, “Characteristics of Federally Licensed Firearms Retailers and Retail Establishments in the United States: Initial Findings from the Firearms Licensee Survey” by Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Program, University of California, Davis. Dr. Wintemute is perhaps best known for authoring the anti-gun report, “Ring of Fire: The Handgun Makers of Southern California.” More recently, Dr. Wintemute and his team conducted “undercover operations” of gun shows for their report, “Inside Gun Shows: What Goes on When Everyone Thinks Nobody is Watching.”
Last year, a letter accompanying the survey, signed by Dr. Wintemute, claimed the research was intended to better understand “the unique perspective of firearms licensees on important social issues and the firearms business itself.” Given Dr. Wintemute’s history, it was pretty clear then, as it is now, that this survey would be used as a tool to justify legislation to curb the lawful commerce of firearms and the individual rights of law-abiding Americans. At the time we urged retailers to use extreme caution should they decide to participate in the survey. The journal article has a lengthy discussion about our caution to retailers, along with a similar caution from the NRA.
The article notes that the survey was funded by the anti-gun Joyce Foundation, an interesting and relevant fact that was not disclosed to survey participants by Dr. Wintemute in his letter. We only found this out when we read the article. An interesting side note about the Joyce Foundation — President Obama served on its board.