Stereotypes – they are nice and they save time – its easy to label people, especially in media these days.
Gone are the days when news agencies reported only facts – if they ever did. And in media these days you are pretty much always labeled guilty – whether your are guilty or not. And if you are not – nobody bothers to “correct” the news afterwards.
We have a nice example of “investigative journalism” for you today:
In Spain the local police (in cooperation with EUROPOL – just about week before IMCO vote) seized huge number of what they call “illegal firearms”.
Estas son las 12.000 armas, algunas capaces de derribar aeronaves, intervenidas al crimen organizado. Su precio: 10 mill € en mercado negro pic.twitter.com/iJwcC3PGz9
— Policía Nacional (@policia) January 15, 2017
Press release  was later issued by the Spanish authorities:
The short version: Several “weapons of war” were found (CETME, BERGMANN, BERETTA) and they even found anti-aircraft guns which were, I kid you not, “capable of knocking down aircraft”. According to Firearms United team of experts, those are the more dangerous type of anti-aircraft guns, when compared to those other anti-aircraft guns that are incapable of knocking down aircraft. Or something.
In addition to that according to reports, 80 000 euros of cash were found. And stamps, which could be potentially used to “falsify documentation”.
During the “raid” the agents seized approximately 10,000 to 12,000 weapons (I bet they are still counting…), spare parts, which obviously are the type of parts that can be used, you know, in guns, so that they work. Duh.
The article was immediately published by the Mirror  and in that article the journalists acts as the judge, jury and executioner, labeling the 5 persons as criminals, who had running a gun shop as a front, and stated that they had sold firearms to black market:
“Four men and one woman were arrested in in the towns of Olot (Girona), Liendo (Cantabria), Galdácano and Guecho (Biscay) following a lengthy investigation.
The criminal organisation was part of a network which bought unused weapons of war under the pretext of running a sports firm.
They then sourced spare parts, reactivated the guns and put them up for sale on the black market.
Once the decommissioned weapons were legally sourced, they were taken to a “sophisticated workshop” in Guecho and reactivated”
Again – what happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?
Firearms United does not know if the allegations are true or not. We really dont. We do not know if the firearms were all deactivated or not.
But we do know that there are always two sides to every story.
There are some things that are conveniently not mentioned in the news articles and in the press release:
- The person(s) does have a store through which he (allegedly) sold deactivated firearms and militaria for over 25 years.
- Until August 2011 deactivated firearms only required valid ID in Spain.
- The person acquired stock of old firearms factories (Astra, Star, Llama) and according to his own story, deactivated them. This could explain the huge stock – and the “sophisticated machine shop” because generally one needs more than a spanner and a hammer if one deactivates thousands of firearms…
- According to our sources firearms were deactivated by the spanish Official Proof House of Eibar and came with a certificate for each firearm guaranteeing the deactivation
- “The sophisticated machine shop” according to other-than-media-sources is a workbench, with attached bench vice and a drill.
The same sources indicate that the (non-local) authorities were busy taking selfies with confiscated firearms and EUROPOL agent, which surely explains why they have not even yet calculated the number of firearms.
No we have two versions of the same story – and apparently details have been declared “secret” for a month or so. I guess it will a whole month for the “selfie-squad” to finish counting…
The question one needs to ask – was this just a merchant who could not bring his inventory up to EUs new deactivation rules fast enough due to big inventory or something more serious?
Time will tell, whether the firearms were deactivated or not. Unfortunately – this happens after the critical IMCO vote. http://www.interior.gob.es/es/web/interior/noticias/detalle/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_1YSSI3xiWuPH/10180/6803659/?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.interior.gob.es%2Fes%2Fportada%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_pNZsk8OxKI0x%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-2%26p_p_col_pos%3D2%26p_p_col_count%3D4  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/spanish-police-seize-12000-illegal-9629386