Monday, August 21, 2023

Firearms Sector Raises Concerns Over Surge in Revoked Dealer Licenses Under Biden Administration

Roger Krahl, president of RGuns, left, gives information to Zack Johnson about an RGuns-brand TRR15 model rifle at Krahl's gun store in Carpentersville, Illinois. (Getty Images)

The Biden administration's increased scrutiny has led to a notable rise in the number of gun dealers losing their federal licenses, sparking frustration and claims of unfair targeting among the affected dealers.

In the most recent fiscal year, which began last October, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) revoked 122 gun dealer licenses, a significant increase compared to 90 in the previous year and just 27 in 2021, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

During both the Obama and Trump administrations, the annual number of revoked licenses never surpassed 81. Some within the firearms industry allege that they are being disproportionately penalized for minor administrative mistakes, a move they attribute to President Biden's vocal stance on curbing gun violence.

Anthony Navarro, a gun dealer whose license was revoked last year after three legal warnings since 2009, shared with the Wall Street Journal that his earnings have plummeted from $1 million annually to less than $100,000. Navarro believes the increased scrutiny is an indirect infringement on the Second Amendment. He stated that the warnings he received were for errors in paperwork by buyers, who were not disqualified from purchasing firearms.

Other voices in the sector caution that the heightened scrutiny could damage a historically collaborative relationship between gun dealers and federal authorities, who often rely on dealer tips to identify suspicious purchasers. Peter Forcelli, a retired deputy assistant director, questioned the strategy, asking why the government is undermining a traditional ally in combating illegal firearm transactions.

In a response to Fox News Digital, ATF Spokesperson Kristina Mastropasqua stated that the bureau is simply adhering to legal protocols. She emphasized that Federal Firearms Licensees often serve as crucial partners in preventing gun crime and are valuable sources of information that can help identify illegal firearms sales and distributions. However, she noted that those who deliberately break the law must face repercussions. The ATF conducts inspections to both educate licensees and ensure they comply with all relevant local, state, and federal regulations.

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