ATF: Accessories Submitted for GCA or NFA Approval Must Be Submitted With a Firearm
courtesy NBC Los Angeles
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By Lee Williams

In the years before the Biden-Harris administration took over the White House, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives usually revoked an average of 40 Federal Firearm Licenses (FFLs) per year. But, in the 11 months since Joe Biden declared war on “rogue gun dealers,” the ATF has revoked 273 FFLs – an increase of more than 500%. However, rather than targeting the true rogues, Biden’s ATF is revoking FFLs for the most minor of paperwork errors, which were never a concern for the ATF until Biden weaponized the agency.

“This has nothing to do with the ATF and everything to do with the DOJ,” said John Clark of FFL Consultants. Clark is a firearm industry expert who said the ATF announced the number of revocations at a recent Firearm Industry Conference.

“The vast majority of the ATF don’t like this any more than the industry does,” he said. “It’s Biden.”

Clark and business partner John Bocker crisscross the country to help gun dealers fight back against Biden’s overreach – a service that is free to all members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Their mantra is: “Get it right the first time.”

“Our goal is to prevent an incident from occurring,” Bocker has said. “Our goal is prevention – get it right the first time. We are the proactive and preventative arm of the NSSF.”

Nowadays, they’re extremely busy. “I had three revocation hearings last week,” Clark said.

Key to the massive increase in revocations is Biden’s zero-tolerance for willful violations policy, which Clark said relies upon a new definition of willful. If a dealer makes a simple mistake, they can now lose their license, because the new definition of willful states that the dealer knew the law, but willfully chose to violate it anyway – regardless of whether it was an oversight, an error by an employee or a simple paperwork mistake.

“They have twisted negligence into willful,” Clark said. “These are not uncommon errors that we’re seeing. Things happen.”

On paper, Biden’s new policy seems clear:

Absent extraordinary circumstances that would need to be justified to the Director, ATF will seek to revoke the licenses of dealers the first time that they violate federal law by willfully.

1.) transferring a firearm to a prohibited person
2.) failing to run a required background check
3.) falsifying records, such as a firearms transaction form
4.) failing to respond to an ATF tracing request
5.) refusing to permit ATF to conduct an inspection in violation of the law

However, Clark and Bocker are seeing these rules pushed far beyond the realm of common sense or fairness, and local gun dealers are paying the price.

For example, the transaction number for a NICS background check requires nine digits. If a gun dealer mistakenly omits a number, their license can be revoked for failing to run a background check. Under the Biden-Harris administration, there is no longer any room for human error.

Similarly, the ATF has started contracting out its trace requests, Clark said. He and Bocker have talked to a dealer whom the ATF accused of not complying with a trace request. The fault, they found, actually belonged to the ATF, which hadn’t updated its records from the contractors. Until this was clarified, the dealer was at risk of losing everything.

Their firm offers a free webinar for gun dealers, which addresses Biden’s policy.

ATF breaking federal law

Biden first announced his zero-tolerance policy for “rogue gun dealers” in June of last year. He claimed these dealers were responsible for skyrocketing violent crime rates in major cities historically controlled by Democrats.

The violence wasn’t caused by weak prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable, or gangs or underfunded police departments or by any combination thereof, he said. It was all the fault of “rogue gun dealers,” who Biden claimed willfully transfer firearms to prohibited persons, and/or refuse to cooperate with a tracing request from the ATF.

gun store background check 4473
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

To vet Biden’s rogue gun dealer theory, the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project immediately sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the ATF, seeking the following:

Copies of documents that show the number of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and their state of residence, who have been prosecuted for willfully transferring a firearm to a prohibited person over the past three years (from June 23, 2018 to June 23, 2021.)

Copies of documents that show the number of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and their state of residence, who have been prosecuted for ignoring and/or refusing to cooperate with a tracing request from the BATFE, over the past three years (from June 23, 2018 to June 23, 2021.)

(Note: We did not seek the names or other identifiers of any FFL.)

We’re still waiting for a response.

In the 11 months since the FOIA request was filed, the ATF has not complied with the law. The ATF is in a trick-bag of sorts. They can comply with federal law and provide the documents, which will likely reveal that Biden’s rogue gun dealer policy is just a ruse, or they can continue to deny and delay the FOIA request even though their actions violate federal law.

Takeaways

If there is a dealer who transfers firearms to prohibited persons, fails to conduct background checks and ignores requests from the ATF to help trace firearms used in a crime, they should lose their FFL. I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that. However, these are not the type of dealers the ATF is targeting at Biden’s behest.

Biden angry gesture finger
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Biden-Harris administration has ordered the ATF to revoke FFLs for even the most minor of paperwork errors, solely to support its rogue-dealer myth.

There is no doubt Biden will soon hold a press conference touting the effectiveness of his zero-tolerance policy and the hundreds of “rogue gun dealers” whose licenses were revoked as a result. What he won’t mention is that none of the dealers who lost their livelihoods contributed to the skyrocketing violent crime rates of major metros. They were simply law-abiding men and women who made a minor paperwork error, which Biden has now criminalized as part of his ongoing war on our guns.

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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44 COMMENTS

  1. Banning guns without banning guns, this and many more ways they will do it, keep in mind, they don’t give a sh-t about our rights. the left wants us to obey to their way.

    • Sieg Heil Jim Crow Gun Control nazi joe. Ol’ busy body joe needs to know your papers are in order while his spoiled brat son hunter and his deceased brother’s wife disposed of hunter’s handgun in a dumpster. Proof once again pompous Gun Control zealots like joe are insane hypocrites.

  2. biden’s war on guns is like any other thing that biden does. It is a failure. He’s sold more guns than barry. People that have never wanted a gun are now buying them.

    What can you expect from biden? His foreign policy is a wreck. His domestic economy is a wreck. His energy policy is a wreck.

    The only thing he has done is make the dems fear November.

  3. Biden didn’t do anything, other than saying gun are yuckie.

    Our President is not in control, some unknown person is running the show.
    If that doesn’t scare you I don’t know what would, except firing his Vice President and picking Berney, then resigning so we go full on Socialism society.

  4. Anyone thinking the Republicrats will roll-back any 2A infringements? When was the last time an agency, or agency head, was abolished, or removed for incompetence or intentional abuse of power? Indeed, when was the last time an agency’s budget was actually cut below the year before?

    Whatever government abuse is committed by the Dims, Repubs never seem to end it; best outcome is limiting future abuse, not removing it.

    • “Anyone thinking the Republicrats will roll-back any 2A infringements?”

      I’ll let you know in just a few weeks (or sooner).

      If New York city is forced to go shall-issue with firearm permits, that will qualify as a *YES*, because had Hillary chosen 3 Supreme Court justices instead of Trump to replace vacant seats , the high court would never have granted certiorari and had that case heard by the high court… 🙂

    • Near enough ain’t good enough for F-Troop.

      I wondered if item 3) on the list would be a common disqualification.

    • it won’t matter in the end…(seen this before)…if they can’t find something, they’ll fabricate it

  5. Obviously, the o’biden crime family, and their accomplice’s, are traitors and are working as hard as possible to disarm the American people. It’s what despotic regimes have done throughout history, disarm the people and then they can do anything they want to the helpless serfs.
    I would already be a criminal, in the minds of the “elite “ scumbags who intend our complete domination, because I’m not now, and never, ever will cooperate with their evil.
    Even though I’m stuck in a nursing home right now, recovering from a stroke, I’ve refused every time they’ve offered the so-called vaccine, and even demanded that I take it or be kicked out of here, I said, you first, and where they could stick their shot. I’ve also refused much of the meds they push.
    I guess I just don’t play well with authority types. Oh, they did ask, once, if I owned any guns. Only once, since I don’t think they liked my reply .
    I enjoy the intelligent discussion here, which, of course, leaves out the useless communists who try to inject their stupidity, but I admit to being amused by the replies people waste on them.

  6. I’m always amazed how many journalists continue to incorrectly use percentages greater than 100% rather than properly stating ‘5 times more’ or similar.

  7. They working to scare FFL’s. I bet if we inspected the records the BATFe are legally obligated to keep we would find errors, omissions and falsehoods.

    • Isn’t there an inspector general just for that?
      Can the house or senate force ,when R remakes control, such an inspiration?
      Asking for a fee million friends.

    • once they get me…they’ll come for you…don’t care how legit you think you are…deja vu all over again…

  8. Cheers to FFL Consultants.

    That said, it seems like going after the root of the problem (ATF’s overbroad authority, and quite frankly the existence of the agency in the first place) would be better.

  9. I am one of the “rogue” FFL’s… I failed my compliance inspection for errors that up until that day, were not considered fatal! One had to do with filing 3310 forms for multiple handgun sales (which I was told by the last agent that I was doing correctly) but was no longer correct. and two minor paperwork errors that would normally have meant nothing to the agent performing the inspection. HOWEVER (comma) since the agents have been ordered through their chain of command who was ordered by the biden administration, the agents are no longer allowed leeway in determining if the error was a minor misstep or malicious. The ONLY thing that saved me and my business from being shut down right then and there was the fact that I “carried” two FFL’s! I had to relinquish my 01 license immediately but since I also had an 07 license, I was able to stay in business! I would like to say this to everyone who may read this: I hold no ill will against the agent! He hated that he had to do what he did! I was told that the agents performing these “compliance” inspections are being scrutinized closely to be sure they are not slipping off their duty to try and shut down us “rogue” dealers!

    • I hold no ill will against the agent! He hated that he had to do what he did! I was told that the agents performing these “compliance” inspections are being scrutinized closely to be sure they are not slipping off their duty to try and shut down us “rogue” dealers!

      In other words the agent in question values his paycheck more than he values your rights, the Constitution, moral/ethics or, more generally, a free society and functioning economy.

      Sounds like a real winner. The kinda guy who knows what he’s doing is wrong, admits it is wrong too but… still does it.

      You’re a better person than I am to not hold it against him/her.

      • “It’s my job” is BS, they know it’s wrong. Most of them just love the power and yes, they are Nazi’s in that respect.

      • S9
        Totally agree. Just following orders didn’t work for the nazis. Guilty along with everyone up the chain.
        I’ve quit better jobs for lesser reasons.

    • regulatory people are usually a pretty decent sort…and will often confide in you just what sort of thing is actually happening and offer advice…

    • I wonder if or when “unintended consequences” will start happening to such individuals. Somewhat of a cheesy book but I do recommend it as required reading.

    • A lot of this doesn’t pass the smell test.

      You claim you were doing something wrong with form 3310.4. That’s not one of the big no-nos. What were you doing wrong? You must’ve been not filling the form out completely, or were not including previous transactions that fall within the 5-day period.

      And two paperwork failures? What were those, did you let a gun go without performing a NICS check?

      You had to give up your FFL? What, is that all you did rather than request a hearing with DIO?

      Either this is all a fabrication or there’s more to your story than you’re telling.

    • it’s always the administration in power that controls this…of course the agency would prefer to do less…and were moving in that direction until the change….

  10. That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work ….. 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  11. WHERE are the federal lawsuits for obvious illegal revocation? You mean to tell me that NOT ONE of those hundreds of FFLs can get an attorney and pay the filing fee? Come on.

    The worthless nra is ignoring all this as expected. Ignoring organized crime theft by ATF in stealing that Amish farmers’ guns, in stealing Skelton gun shop’s guns, and stealing JA industries’ license to manufacture.

  12. And these are the people, and their military that just gave multiple billions of dollars of weapons to the most ruthless of muslim enemies to be distributed and sold off to other terrorists from around the globe, murdering whole swarths of peoples around the globe. But disarming the ordinary citizen is their goal, whilst lying to the nation about why they are doing the disarmament of their own good citizens.

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