Mike Bloomberg’s quest to curb the gun trade in New York gets a round of applause from the Times today, after 20 out-of-state dealers settled rather than face trial for illegally selling weapons that caused violence in New York. Bloomberg found the loophole in what the Times calls "atrocious federal laws that shield the gun industry from having to account for the crimes committed with guns that they provide"—illegal sales.
There’s already a 75% drop in the flow of guns into New York from such stores since the city sued them. And the city’s work is a model for other jurisdictions, the editors say; it can even force federal monitoring of transactions at the stores that settle. But there’s a big caveat: Congress refused Bloomie on repealing a law that will block access to a federal database tracking sales, meaning it will be increasingly hard to police the “sleazy conduct” of dealers.