Buckeye State police chief: Brady gun shop campaign a ''witch hunt''

Cincinnati's 9News (WCPO.com) is reporting that the owner of a local gun shop in North College Hill, under attack by out-of-state anti-gun extremists, is speaking out to defend his business. And he's not the only one.

Click on 'Read More' for the story.

From the story:

    Costello's Gun Shop in North College Hill is listed in a crime prevention report as an example of a place conducting shady dealings.

    The group behind the report is the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence out of Washington D.C.

    The center says places like Costello's Gun Shop knowingly sell to people who will re-sell to criminals, but Frank Costello says they've picked on the wrong business.

    Over a two-and-a-half year period, reports say one woman named Tamara Peterson repeatedly walked in to Costello's on West Galbraith and walked out with guns, buying a total of 24 of them.

    She wound up in prison for dealing firearms, as three of the weapons wound up used in violent crimes in our area.

    "The purchaser was sentenced to two years in prison for dealing these firearms but the dealer, no action was taken and they're still selling guns today," said Elizabeth Hailey of the Brady Center.

    Frank Costello says he runs an honest business.

    People who buy more than one gun fill out a form which goes to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as to local police.

    Costello added his own form which reminds buyers they can go to prison if they illegally give or sell to someone else.

And what does local law enforcement say about Costello's supposed culpability in this matter?

    "I don't think he's doing anything wrong," said North College Hill Police Chief Paul Toth. "It's kind of a witch hunt."

Chief Toth told 9News he believes targeting a business like Costello's counts as a misfire.

"He is following the law in all aspects," Chief Toth said. "What happens to these weapons after they leave his store, he has absolutely no control over."

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