Newspaper blames gun shop for Hunter Biden’s illegal pistol purchase By: Lee Williams

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Disgraced ATF director-wannabe David Chipman says it’s a valid point.

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(Photo from licensed Shutterstock account.)

by “Hunter Biden’s gun case was spurred by an ATF form. The shop violated federal law.”

The same allegations were first brought up in court by Hunter Biden’s defense team, but Judge Maryellen Noreika correctly pointed out that the gun shop was not on trial.

Penzenstadler never mentions that federal law requires the firearm purchaser to present valid identification and to be truthful on the ATF Form 4473, which Hunter Biden certainly was not. He concealed his drug addiction when asked “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” At the time, Hunter Biden was smoking crack cocaine nearly every 15 minutes, according to courtroom testimony presented during his trial.

ATF compliance expert John “JC” Clark, co-founder and managing director of FFL Consultants, said the ATF Form 4473 is more than clear and warns the firearm purchaser that they will be held responsible for any falsehoods or misrepresentations.  

“Mr. Biden failed to recognize that, despite the ATF Form 4473 being provided to him by a non-governmental entity, it remains a government document. This form includes explicit warnings detailing potential criminal violations for providing false information. It is unusual for a government form to not only instruct the user to ‘READ THE FORM,’ but to also require certification that the form has indeed been read,” Clark told the Second Amendment Foundation Wednesday. “By signing the form, Mr. Biden acknowledged his understanding that making any false oral or written statement or presenting false or misrepresented identification in connection with the transaction, constitutes a felony offense under federal law.”

None of this was presented in Penzenstadler’s story. Instead, to bolster his nonsensical claims, he resurrected a once infamous “gun control activist,” David Chipman, the runty former ATF bureaucrat and paid anti-gun activist whom Hunter’s dad tried unsuccessfully to confirm as ATF Director. The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked on Chipman’s nomination along party lines, and Joe Biden was forced to withdraw his name from consideration.

“We don’t give drug dealers a pass to get the possessor,” Chipman told the newspaper reporter. “It’s criminal investigation 101. How the government has bent over backward to explain away the more serious felony is shocking.”

Paid anti-gun activist and former ATF official David Chipman. (Photo from licensed Shutterstock account.)

If Penzenstadler’s name sounds familiar, it should. He was once part of Gannett’s corporate anti-gun propaganda team, which paired paid activists from the Trace, the propaganda arm of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire, with reporters and editors from the newspaper — a move that violated about a dozen of Gannett’s highly touted ethical principles. Penzenstadler is now part of USA TODAY’s investigative team, according to his byline.

In 2021, Penzenstadler and a Trace activist interviewed Chipman for a glowing puff-piece titled: “Biden nominated him to head gun oversight. He went down in flames – but he’s not done fighting.”

The story portrayed Chipman as heroic and claimed the “ugly and personal confirmation process hardened his resolve to focus on gun safety and push back against the industry’s outsize influence on the agency — even if he has to do so from the outside.”

In the 2021 story, Chipman lashed out at everyone for his failed nomination, including the White House and the Justice Department. He blamed everyone but himself for becoming a laughingstock and at the time the greatest meme generator since Joe Biden.

Apples to apples

Hunter Biden has yet to be sentenced for lying about his drug use on an ATF Form 4473 and possessing a firearm while addicted to, or using, illegal drugs. He faces up to 25 years in prison, but most court-watchers and pundits say he won’t spend a minute behind bars. While it can be problematic to compare the sentence one defendant receives to another, those looking for similar cases to compare to Hunter Biden’s criminal gun charges now have two examples to consider.

Last month, Alexander Wesley Ledvina, 27, was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release after he was found guilty during a 2023 bench trial of one count of possession of a firearm by a drug user and one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

According to a Justice Department press release, Ledvina claimed on an ATF Form 4473 that he was neither a user of marijuana nor addicted to marijuana or any other controlled substance. However, during his trial, “Ledvina stipulated that he knew that he was using controlled substances, including marijuana, THC, and cocaine.”

As previously reported, Miracle Star Vaughn pleaded guilty to making false statements during the purchase of firearms. Like Hunter Biden, she concealed her drug addiction on an ATF Form 4473.

“During the firearms purchases, Vaughn provided false information regarding her address and her drug use,” a Justice Department press release stated at the time.

The ATF alleged that Vaughn, then 27 and living in North Liberty, Iowa, purchased seven handguns over an 18-month period, and that two of the weapons ended up in the hands of convicted felons. Vaughn, like Hunter Biden, had no criminal history at the time of her firearm purchases.

Vaughn pleaded guilty to making false statements on the 4473. On April 26, 2023, a federal judge in Davenport, Iowa sentenced her to 366 days in a federal prison. Vaughn was released three months ago and must now complete three years of supervised release.

Takeaways

Not too long ago, USA TODAY was seen by thousands of people, although most of them stepped over the newspaper while leaving their hotel rooms. Still, for a daily newspaper to unfairly target a small, family-owned business solely because they were unfortunate enough to encounter a Biden is unconscionable.

If Hunter Biden lied on a 4473 and got caught that is his fault, not the gun shop’s. Hunter Biden is a grownup who should be held responsible for his own decisions, good or bad. To imply that the gun shop should have known that he was lying about his drug use and his address is unfair.

The world is not made up of Hunter Biden minders, whose sole duty is to keep him out of trouble. There’s only one person who has that job — a 54-year-old self-admitted cocaine addict turned presidential advisor named Robert Hunter Biden.

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