Democrats go after Republican for self-defense measure he took…14 years ago

posted at 9:21 pm on August 28, 2014 by Matt Vespa

This is one of those weird stories coming out of 435 congressional races this year. In New York’s 24th congressional district, Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei went after his Republican opponent, John Katko, for having his firearm stolen 14 years ago, which was used in a robbery that killed two people.

It’s tragic, but Maffei is attacking him on it.  Katko was granted special permission to have a .40 caliber handgun after threats were made against him and his family. When you’re the Assistant U.S. Attorney for two decades and took on Syracuse’s’ street gangs, putting 130 of them in jail. Needless to say, some people wanted him dead (via Syracuse.com):

Katko broke no state or federal gun laws, and he was not disciplined by the Justice Department. But a review of the case shows he likely violated federal policies for the safe handling and storage of government-issued weapons.

Katko, 51, of Camillus, is running against U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse, in the 24th Congressional District.

Police reports and other public records show Katko asked for and received Justice Department permission in December 1999 to carry a concealed weapon — a .40 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol — for his personal protection.

When issued the gun after a threat against his life, Katko had to agree to follow the U.S. Marshals Service policy that requires “weapons be concealed from view when not in use” and “stored in a secure manner to prevent theft, tampering, or misuse when not being carried.”

A presidential directive from 1997 required agencies to provide gun or trigger locks to federal law enforcement personnel. The idea was to help secure weapons when they weren’t being carried, and to prevent them from being fired by someone else.

On the night of April 3, 2000, the prosecutor left the pistol on the floor of his Chevy pickup truck after parking in front of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Syracuse’s West Side, according to a police report.

Less than three weeks later, five men dressed in black from head-to-toe burst inside an illegal gambling house on Syracuse’s South Side, setting off a Friday night gunfight. The hail of bullets sent people jumping out of windows to escape from 222 Burt St.

Two men in the house, Vernon Griffin, 39, and the unrelated Henderson Griffin, 62, were shot to death. A third man, Robert Anderson, 47 at the time, survived after being shot in the back.

The gun was recovered and the serial number matched Katko’s handgun. Katko’s spokesperson, Erin O’Connor said he wasn’t issued a trigger lock, but given a lock box to keep it secure. The story also had Joe Ciciarelli, chief deputy at the U.S. Marshals Service in Syracuse, going on the record saying he can’t recall when the trigger lock directive was enforced back in 2000. The Justice Department reviewed the incident and didn’t reprimand Katko, who kept the firearm locked in his briefcase case, concealed, and out of sight while attending church. This is a closed case.

Katko is running on his image as a pro-gun, crime-fighting former prosecutor. He’s voiced his concerns about NY’s SAFE Act, calling it a “knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy [Sandy Hook].” But Maffei is possibly using the pro-gun angle to cut into Katko’s image.  At the New York State Fair, Rep. Maffei said, “he’s [Katko] running for the United States Congress, and he’s claiming to be tough on crime…so he’s asking people to look at his record, and this (stolen gun incident) is part of it.”

In short, Maffei is deploying bush league tactics on a man who had a firearm sanctioned by the federal government for his personal protection and that of his family. Additionally, he doesn’t need to use these cheap tactics; he’ll likely win re-election come November. In the meantime, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is slamming Katko. Their northeast regional press secretary Marc Brumer has been especially aggressive.

The man didn’t kill anyone, but Katko released a statement saying:

Fourteen years ago I, too, became the victim of a crime. My protective weapon was stolen from a locked briefcase concealed from view in my locked vehicle.

I left the weapon in that vehicle as my wife and I felt uncomfortable taking it into an area church for a required meeting with other Onondaga County Foster Parent Program volunteers…clearly not an appropriate venue to be carrying a weapon of any kind.

This incident was fully investigated by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Marshals Service and no wrong doing was found.

The stolen weapon was later recovered on a suspect in a double homicide; tests confirmed the weapon was not used in the commission of that crime.

Those facts remain true today.

My opponents have chosen to rehash this incident that was fully reported 14 years ago in an attempt to make it an issue in my race for U.S. Congress.

I say to them and to all that I have no regrets about taking every security precaution required these past 20 years to reduce the very real physical threats to my children, my wife, and me.

On a side note, federal agents have lost their firearms on the job. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the law enforcement agency in charge with enforcing federal gun laws, have their “weapons stolen or loses them more frequently than other federal law enforcement agencies, according to a 2008 report from the Office of the Inspector General with the U.S. Department of Justice:”

Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater and on a plane, according to the records, obtained Tuesday by the news organization under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent’s loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn’t find his gun for days but didn’t bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.

In Los Angeles in 2011, an agent went out to a bar drinking with other agents and friends, reportedly consuming four alcoholic beverages. The next morning he woke up and realized his ATF-issued Glock was gone. It was not found.

In Milwaukee, an undercover agent had three of his guns, including an ATF-owned machine gun, stolen from his government truck parked at a coffee shop in September 2012.

In a five-year span from 2002-’07, for example, 76 ATF weapons were reported stolen, lost or missing, according to the report. That’s nearly double the rate of the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, when considering rates per 1,000 agents.

When I was at CNSNews.com, the ATF contacted me to clear up the record about this damaging piece of information highlighting their incompetence. While they offered some facts and figures regarding the recovery of firearms that were missing or lost, they couldn’t say if those firearms were used in crimes during the period of their misplacement.

Katko shouldn’t have any regrets for taking self-defense measures, and Maffei tying Katko, as being part of the problem when it comes to fighting crime is ridiculous.


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The statue of limitations on past actions for liberals is 5 seconds. The statute of limitations on past actions for conservatives is eternity.

RblDiver on August 28, 2014 at 9:25 PM

a .40 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol — for his personal protection.

Nit-picky maybe but that picture you got up ain’t a .40 caliber Glock.

Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Well, it is NY, where people know they live in a jungle and keep voting to keep it that way.

formwiz on August 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

that picture you got up ain’t a .40 caliber Glock. Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Looks like a Berretta to me.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Blaming the victim, yep, he’s a liberal.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Maffei is just using this to rally his own supporters, by reminding them that he hates guns and their owners as much as they do. No, he doesn’t need to do it, but it’s one of those things progressives do to prove their fealty to the True Faith.

He probably doesn’t want anyone to actually think about what happened. Because if they did, they’d realize that it simply proves that even with an absolute prohibition on civilian-owned firearms, as long as the minions of government are armed, the criminals will always know where to go to acquire a “government surplus” weapon- by making it “surplus” themselves.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

It’s a Desert Eagle.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Looks like a Berretta to me.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Keep your eye on the sparrow.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

It’s a Desert Eagle. Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

The front makes it. Look like a tip up barrel.

I never messed with Desert Eagles.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM

I never messed with Desert Eagles.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM

They’re made by Jews. So they’re kosher.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

It’s a Desert Eagle.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Bishop: Piff, its a Colt Commando .45ACP!..(snark):)

canopfor on August 28, 2014 at 9:48 PM

They’re made by Jews. So they’re kosher.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

And you never feel guilty about owning one.

I want one.

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Nit-picky maybe but that picture you got up ain’t a .40 caliber Glock.

Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

You’re right. Its much purtier.

And man what a blossom it puts out when fired in the dark.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Who is Matt Vespa?

KCB on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

I want one.

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Not everybody can handle one.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Looks a little trimmed down by the muzzle though.

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

The DE grip is huge, you need big hands to even hold the thing.

But yeah it’s a Glock too, to anti-gun goofballs every gun is a Glock.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Desperation

The Notorious G.O.P on August 28, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Looks a little trimmed down by the muzzle though.

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

?

…you need big hands to even hold the thing.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Myth, 110lb. mrs cozmo can handle one.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Who is Matt Vespa?

KCB on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Scooter?

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 9:57 PM

KCB/Ken

I had the same question lol

Matt Vespa is the Web Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Who is Matt Vespa?

KCB on August 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Heir to the mighty Vespa fortune.

RickB on August 28, 2014 at 9:58 PM

they’re made by Jews. So they’re kosher. Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

So was Valmet, I think. And they were badassed..

They used to do tests where they buried them in sand and mud for a year and dug them up.
Field stripped and fired.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Matt Vespa
@mVespa1

Conservative. Web Editor @townhallcom. Occasional blogger for @hotairblog and @RedState Matthew.Vespa@Townhall.com. @AFPVA Alum. RT ≠ Endorsement

https://twitter.com/mVespa1

canopfor on August 28, 2014 at 10:00 PM

atf lost about 2500 in fast and furious.
remember that…the weapons tracking program with NO means of tracking the weapons…

dmacleo on August 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

So if he had used a trigger lock the thieves wouldn’t have been able to get it off in the three weeks between stealing it and the killings

Liberals expertise about gun safety never fails to impress

halfbaked on August 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I was wrong. valmet is finnish.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

OT….Rep Louie Gohmert just told Eric Bolling that “we have Barney Fife up there running things.” ROFLMAO

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Blew that one didn’t I

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I was wrong. valmet is finnish.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

And I believe Stathis Borans tried to kill Seth Brundlefly with one.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

:-)

WryTrvllr on August 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Myth, 110lb. mrs cozmo can handle one.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 9:55 PM

She must have big hands, my woman could barely get her fingers around the DE that I lost up north.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Much a do about nothing demorats!

Demorats you have an a**hole in the WH, whom is a traitor to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, and ya’ll try to make issue of a 14 year old theft of a legal weapon, which was recovered and not used in said murders. You Demorats are farkin nuts!

Upside down world when Demorats are trying to run things!

May all you demorats find solace at the end of a rope!

woodhull on August 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Hey, where’s everdiso and nonpartisan to tell us about how government officials are the only ones competent enough to be trusted with firearms?

The Schaef on August 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Hey, where’s everdiso and nonpartisan to tell us about how government officials are the only ones competent enough to be trusted with firearms?

The Schaef on August 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Start here. Go crazy.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Katko shouldn’t have any regrets for taking self-defense measures, and Maffei tying Katko, as being part of the problem when it comes to fighting crime is ridiculous.

But but but GUN! And AGENDA! And AGENDA AGAINST GUNS!

Newtie and the Beauty on August 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

When ya got nothing, throw bullshit. We already know how many low-IQ, low-info voters are out there.

GarandFan on August 28, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Nope, not big, but not small either. She needed to use both hands, but IIRC, it was because of the weight and not the size.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Start here. Go crazy.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Man, I didn’t even browse that one.

I figured I would sound like one of the idiot trolls.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 10:35 PM

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Well it turned into “poor lazy Jetboy. He can’t find any 32 Winchester Special ammo. So we all supplied links to sites that sold it. Nothing was right for that boy.

Judge_Dredd on August 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Nope, not big, but not small either. She needed to use both hands, but IIRC, it was because of the weight and not the size.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

I may have to go buy one. There’s a spider that’s taken up residence on my deck that looks too big for anything I’ve currently got to take down.

Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Once you get used to the weight, it is a dream. Of course mine is long gone, along with all of my other evil firearms.

cozmo on August 28, 2014 at 10:46 PM

I was wrong. valmet is finnish.

wolly4321 on August 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

You’re thinking of the Galil…which borrowed features of the Valmet. And from the AK-47, as well.

Solaratov on August 28, 2014 at 10:46 PM

These are liberals. They still think that guns like to go on murder sprees without human intervention.

So naturally, if the gun was used in a crime, it’s the gun’s fault.

Ok, so that actually makes sense.

Question is, how do they get from it being the gun’s fault back to it being Katko’s fault?

Well, maybe we’re just asking too much. After all, two steps of logic make a chain of logic, and liberals don’t do well with logic chains.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 28, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Were it not for Double Standards . . . Democrats would have no standards at all.

TheStatistQuo on August 28, 2014 at 11:00 PM

You’re thinking of the Galil…which borrowed features of the Valmet. And from the AK-47, as well.

Solaratov on August 28, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Valmet made at least one pistol. Looked like a cross between a Nambu and a Luger. Don’t know much about it though.

Oldnuke on August 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM

If his car was stolen and the thief hit and killed 3 people 16 years ago. Using liberal logic that would . . .

Lord only knows how much I despise libs.

Texyank on August 28, 2014 at 11:26 PM

I’ve had my car broken into and I think specifically to get my carry gun, which was very securely locked into a box bolted to the floor. Tried, messed up the box, went away unsatisfied.

I won’t even stop five minutes for groceries when my expensive rifles are in the car.

Tard on August 29, 2014 at 12:10 AM

According to the Dem (and the way Ed wrote it), the gun was used in the shooting. This seems to be false according to Katko’s statement, “tests confirmed the weapon was not used in the commission of that crime.”

Yitzchokm on August 29, 2014 at 3:48 AM

I wonder how many people get killed in, or, by stolen vehicles?
Also, when addlebrained left-tards talk about so called “gun culture” today they shamefully omit facts.
I wonder if the guy who killed two people had anything to do with drugs, rap, or hip hop?
I cannot recall any music, including Heavy Metal that has had more violent deaths, shootouts, or penis dismemberment than the rap, hip hop, “black gun culture” … where are the Senate hearings?

kregg on August 29, 2014 at 5:20 AM

Look up: Adlai Stevenson, Ruth Merwin

Wander on August 29, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Here’s what you need to know about Dan Maffei. He cut his political teeth working for Charlie Rangel. He has been running for congress in this district alternately losing then winning then losing then winning in the last 3 or 4 election cycles. When he isn’t our congressman he has a cushy job in Washington to fall back on as does his wife. Currently he is facing the Mary Landrieu housing problem. He has a house in Syracuse but he is very seldom there. He new baby daughter was born this July in an Washington DC hospital. He house in Washington is a $700,000 condo. He house in Syracuse is a very modest $120,000 in a very modest middle/working class neighborhood. But Katko isn’t allowed to ask about his residence because that’s attacking Maffei’s family.

The local paper is totally in the tank for Maffei and ran this story as the top front page story as an in-kind donation to the Maffei campaign.

IdrilofGondolin on August 29, 2014 at 8:31 AM

democrats are creepy heartless people…they let no crisis or bad situation go to waste….they use it against their opponents…if they can kill babies in the womb and believe it is a right, how much further do they have to go to do crap like this.

crosshugger on August 29, 2014 at 8:49 AM

If this is all the Dems have to defeat the congressman they are stupid. The fact that he is willing to defend himself and his family is enough to receive my vote. Maybe he would be willing to defend us, also.

newpine on August 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM

All-powerful-government advocates (Democrats/Liberals/Progressives) believe that only the government and criminals should have guns (or big knives).

No law-abiding citizen should ever be allowed to own or possess a gun for any reason, since that gun might be used to resist the predations of The Leviathan.

pilsener on August 29, 2014 at 11:04 AM

He only lost one government-issued firearm. The Oprompta Regime lost THOUSANDS of them in Fast and Furious – no uproar over that, tho.

PJ Emeritus on August 29, 2014 at 11:18 AM

He only lost one government-issued firearm. The Oprompta Regime lost THOUSANDS of them in Fast and Furious – no uproar over that, tho.

PJ Emeritus on August 29, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I don’t tweet, but that would be my tweet to @MarcPBrumer.

If he was so concerned about guns control, why has he never commented about Fast and Furious?

barnone on August 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Right out of the Dem Primer, “The Politics of Personal Destruction”.

vnvet on August 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM