Tuesday, July 11, 2023

ATF Retaliates Against Gun Store With Lawsuit Against BATFE

ATF Retaliates Against Gun Store With Lawsuit Against BATFE

In recent developments, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has made the decision to revoke the Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) of a gun shop that had taken legal action against the federal government regarding the now-defunct frames and receiver rule.

Morehouse Enterprises, based in North Dakota, joined forces with Gun Owners of America (GOA) to challenge the ATF's attempt to regulate unfinished frames and receivers through bureaucratic means. The ATF had introduced this regulation in response to a White House order aimed at banning "ghost guns," a term used by President Joe Biden to refer to 80% firearms. It is worth noting that this lawsuit was the first of its kind to challenge the now-invalidated rule.

Shortly after Morehouse Enterprises filed the lawsuit, the ATF conducted an inspection of the gun shop. This visit from the ATF was the store's first-ever inspection by the agency. During the inspection, Industry Operations Inspector (IOI) Jacob Temp jokingly mentioned to the store owner that there were internal discussions within the ATF about whether the inspection could be perceived as retaliatory due to the ongoing court case. Initially, the ATF had planned to postpone any inspection for at least three years, pending the litigation. However, the Bureau ultimately decided to proceed with the inspection.

IOI Temp acknowledged the store's overall compliance level and expressed approval for their adherence to ATF regulations. Every single firearm in the store, all 2,700 of them, was accounted for and properly documented, including the 2,400 dispositions of firearms. The shop felt confident about the inspection, but that confidence was soon shattered.

On March 6, 2023, the ATF issued a "Report of Violations," revealing five policy violations, three of which were minor paperwork errors. The first violation involved the store's failure to record the return of a firearm to a customer who had brought it in for gunsmithing. The second violation occurred when the store accidentally wrote a customer's Social Security number in the NICS transaction number (NTN) box. The third clerical error involved a missing number in a NICS transaction number.

The store also committed two more serious violations. They had transferred a handgun to a resident of Georgia, which is against the regulations as FFLs are not allowed to transfer handguns to residents of another state due to varying gun laws. It should be noted that in this case, Georgia law is not stricter than North Dakota law.

Another violation was allowing the customer to use a Georgia concealed carry permit in place of a NICS background check. While the Brady law allows exceptions to background checks under certain circumstances, such as if a state's concealed carry permit meets or exceeds the same scrutiny as a NICS check, it can only be used within the state of issue.

Subsequently, on May 23, 2023, the ATF notified Morehouse Enterprises of its intention to revoke both of the company's FFLs, despite the second license not having any violations. It is worth mentioning that President Biden's zero-tolerance policies have exerted pressure on the ATF to shut down FFLs.

Since Biden assumed office, FFL revocations have seen a significant increase of 500%. However, even under the president's zero-tolerance policy, the store's violations do not warrant license revocation. According to the policy, these violations would only merit a "Warning Conference."

In response to the ATF's actions, GOA has once again partnered with Morehouse Enterprises to defend the company. The gun rights group alleges that the Bureau's actions are "Arbitrary, Capricious, an Abuse of Discretion, and Not in Accordance with Law." The plaintiffs also argue that the ATF's regulations are infringing upon the right to bear arms by restricting the acquisition of firearms.

Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the ATF's conduct appears vindictive. They assert that Morehouse Enterprises' due process rights have been violated through retaliatory prosecution. Furthermore, they argue that the ATF's actions are infringing upon the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights by interfering with their ability to sue the government.

Whether the ATF's actions were truly retaliatory due to the gun store's lawsuit remains a matter of debate and will be settled in a court of law. However, the optics of attempting to shut down a business involved in ongoing litigation against the agency are highly questionable, as it gives the impression of retaliation and vindictiveness, regardless of the underlying reasons.

Gun Coyote - The Gun Deals Search Engine

Source: Ammo Land News

No comments:

Post a Comment