I'm not making any excuses for Raymond Martinez, an idiot who scammed people for a living and then foolishly (and thank goodness not tragically) shot at police officers in a crowded section of New York City, endangering people's lives. But let Martinez's death be yet another example of why this country needs tougher gun laws. This isn't about the millions of legitimate gun owners out there, it's about lax gun purchase laws as well as tougher prosecution against sellers of guns who engage in "straw purchasing". Gun dealers suspected of illegally selling firearms that wind up involved in murders need to be put out of business and do serious time behind bars.
The gun used in a brazen Times Square shootout was stolen from its owner in Virginia last month. The knock-off MAC-10 pistol was sold at Dale's Guns on Oct. 18 in Powhatan, Virginia before being reported stolen from a car 10 days later in Richmond, Virginia, according to the Daily News.
Cops said the original buyer was 25-year-old Richmond-native Jordan Kelsey-Stewart, 25, who has prior arrests for driving without a license and possession of a firearm with alcohol. Police are trying to determine whether or not she knew Raymond "Ready" Martinez before the rapper and street peddler acquired her gun, opened fire at police, and was gunned down after his weapon jammed because he was holding it incorrectly.
Gun store owner Dale Blankenship said Kelsey-Stewart had all the proper identification and passed a background check before purchasing the handgun. According to 1010WINS, Martinez — who did not have a license to own a gun — was "carrying a pocketful of business cards from Virginia gun dealers" when he was killed.
Mayor Bloomberg — who has long squabbled with Virginia gun dealers — says the shooting is an example of why the nation needs stricter gun laws. "There's just too many guns in the street," said Bloomberg, who claims out-of-state gun sellers allow criminals to obtain firearms through "straw purchasing," in which one customer fills out the forms and passes the background check before giving the gun to a second person. He added: "This is one of the great public health threats. And our police officers are clearly in danger." According to city officials, about 85 percent of illegal guns in the city come from five states, including Virginia.