| News |

Gun Dealer Case Blown; Goddard Vows, "It's Not Over By Any Means"

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.


A case of a Phoenix gun dealer whose sales were allegedly tied to Mexican drug cartels fell apart yesterday after a judge decided the state didn't have enough evidence.

The prosecution of George Iknadosian, (at right), of Glendale, had been heavily promoted to the news media by authorities who wanted to show they're doing something about the American weapons being used in the bloody Mexican cartel war. Instead of a good-news story for state Attorney General Terry Goddard, though, the acquittal of Iknadosian has been seen as a  blunder.

Because of all the national press, the failure is also bringing negative media attention to the state. That attention seems partly due to the anti-gun attitude of some in the media -- as Thursday's New York Times article exemplifies.

To the Times, the case "underscores how difficult it is in the United States to convict a gun dealer of wrongdoing in connection with the illegal flow of weapons to Mexico." With that phrasing, the Times seems to be suggesting the process be made smoother -- all that nagging about "evidence" ought to be eliminated, right?

The Times also points out that Arizona's gun laws are "lenient." That's a matter of opinion, and the Times doesn't bother to back up that claim with any statistics. Take a look at Wikipedia's list of gun laws: Purchasing a gun in most states is no easier in Arizona than it is in most states. (Arizona's use-of-force laws, on the other hand, are kind of lenient. For instance, did you know you can legally blow away someone you see setting fire to an occupied house?)


We find it amusing that the Arizona Republic didn't feature a quote by Goddard after the acquittal announcement, but the New York Times seemed to have no trouble getting him:

"We believe it was an error, and we are going to do everything we can in the system to correct that error," the state's attorney general, Terry Goddard, said in an interview Thursday. "It's not over by any means."

When prosecutors lose a case, they always sound like whiny defendants, don't they?

This case came down to a simple fact for Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield: The state never proved that any gun Iknadosian sold ended up in the hands of someone who legally couldn't own a gun. It doesn't cut the legal mustard, apparently, that he could have -- and maybe should have -- known some of his customers were "straw buyers" for criminals.

No doubt, some Arizona gun dealers are tied to the drug cartels responsible for thousands of murders in Mexico. It's a major problem -- but it looks like Goddard's not going down in history as the person who fixed it.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.