Wednesday, July 26, 2023

ATF Systematically Dismantling Retail Firearms Dealers, One Federal Firearm License at a Time


The Agency responsible for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is not carrying out its legislative obligations to regulate the firearms industry. Instead, it is suffocating the industry by methodically dismantling it, targeting one firearms dealer after another.

Before the administration of President Joe Biden launched an offensive against gun dealers, inspections by the ATF were guided by a five-percent threshold. If under five percent of a dealer's paperwork had errors, the response was typically a warning letter or conference. However, if more than five percent of the transactions were erroneous, the consequences could be severe. 

Yet with the ATF's aggressive stance under the Biden administration, even minor administrative errors can be seen as "willful" infractions of the agency's regulations, potentially jeopardizing a dealer's Federal Firearm License (FFL).

Now, the ATF is in active pursuit. The more FFL revocations they can instigate, the more satisfied the White House seems to be. This is, after all, consistent with Biden's public complaints about "unruly" gun dealers, and now it seems it falls upon the ATF to withdraw licenses through any means necessary.

Low hanging fruit

The ATF is aware that large-scale gun dealers have the means to resist revocation, as they are equipped with compliance officers, lawyers, and funds. As a result, the ATF is focusing on home-based dealers. These dealers are less resilient, typically lacking an additional $50,000 to $100,000 to protect their FFL from withdrawal. The ATF recognizes this vulnerability and exploits it unreservedly.

Lately, the ATF has opted out of initiating formal revocation processes for home-based dealers. Instead, they manufacture some violations and then menace and coerce the dealer in an attempt to have them “voluntarily” surrender their FFL.

This harsh approach worked on a home-based dealer in Oklahoma when the ATF deployed a SWAT team on his residence, but proved ineffective when used on a shrewd Texas gun dealer. 

Furthermore, the ATF has started employing new methods, contradicting their own regulations. Before Biden's tenure, the ATF did not utilize gun shop inspections to advance criminal investigations, a stance that has since altered.

ATF inspectors are now collaborating with criminal investigators – special agents. This unethical collaboration forms yet another trap for the unfortunate dealer who has been singled out for revocation due to an agent's caprice.

A troubling truth has emerged: the ATF's recent spree of revocations has led to a series of civil rights infringements. These are significant words as they form the foundation of civil rights lawsuits – civil or criminal.

Current ATF agents operating outside the law may think they are immune to internal sanctions as they are merely obeying orders, but they could still be criminally prosecuted or held accountable for violating someone's civil rights, a scenario that is occurring routinely.

Key points

Those familiar with the ATF's history will not be surprised to learn that one of their primary objectives has been sidelined as they are occupied with withdrawing licenses for "The Big Guy". The ATF is failing to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands as they are too engaged in criminalizing lawful American citizens.

Intimidating honest, hardworking gun dealers does nothing to deter or curb crime. It is simply an evident attempt to gain favor with the upper ranks of the ATF and the incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a course of action that is ethically unacceptable.

Gun Coyote | Gun Deals

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