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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is expected to release a draft rule dealing with stolen firearms. The rule is under review by the White House, which has 90 days before it is required to release it to the public for comment. No one knows what the rule will do or what purpose it would serve, other than to make already burdened gun dealers subject to more bureaucratic snares and tripwires. Since this process started in 1992 in the Clinton era, the number of gun dealers has plunged from 248,000 in 1993 to a bit less than 51,000 in 2012, a decline of nearly 80% . . .

The smaller the dealer, the more burdensome the bureaucratic record keeping becomes and this concentrates the dealers into smaller numbers of larger businesses, which makes further regulation and harassment easier and easier.   It was the stated purpose of the Clinton administration to reduce the numbers of smaller Federal Firearm licensees.

The crime rate, as measured by the homicide rate, climbed dramatically after the Gun Control Act of 1968 was implemented, then dropped as most states implemented concealed carry.  There is no objective reason to believe that the licensing of retail gun dealers has any significant effect on crime.

If we were to act rationally, we would simply scrap the entire attempt to reduce crime by monitoring the retail sale of firearms through licensing. GCA 1968 has always been designed as part of the “slippery slope” to enact a universal gun registry, which is in effect, slow motion gun confiscation, as recently seen in California.

The whole citizen disarmament movement has never been about crime control, and its objectives have become an increasingly hidden agenda as its policies have been shown to be ineffective and unpopular. As David Codrea notes, you cannot have a rational debate with those who continually lie about both the facts and their objectives.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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  1. “Since this process started in 1992 in the Clinton era, the number of gun dealers has plunged from 248,000 in 1993 to a bit less than 51,000 in 2012, a decline of nearly 80% . . .”

    Sounds like their process is achieving the goals that they intended.

    Think about it. When a country is at war with another country, do they limit their attacks to infantry versus infantry? Or do they target everything of strategic significance? So, if you are at war with the Second Amendment, why limit your attacks to laws on armed citizens? Why not go after the manufacturers, distributors, and dealers as well?

      • As in: if you can’t pass a law limiting or eliminating the sale of ammunition, buy it all up yourself and hide it in a warehouse somewhere.

    • What about Internet and “big box” retailers undercutting the local gun shop and ultimately putting them out of business? That has to have had some effect, no?

      • Big box stores, perhaps. Internet, no. I’m an internet only dealer and move a paltry number of guns per month compared to brick and mortar stores. B&M stores, like BB stores, use the internet to supplement their in-store sales. The neighborhood gun store and it’s presumed expertise and local hunting knowledge will never be supplanted by big box or internet vendors, imho.

      • Since many Internet sales still need to be shipped to an FFL for the physical transfer and while they might, I do not know of a big store such as Walmart engaging in such transfers, it seems unlikely that the addition of a few hundred or even a thousand BB stores is responsible for almost 200,000 FFLs going out of business. Personally, unless the local Walmart had EXACTLY the gun I was looking for and the FFLs did not, they would be my last choice. Might buy ammo if the price was right. If they put a firing range in the back of the store, I might change my mind.

      • BB actually boosts B&M sales. People who buy long guns from BB stores are more likely to be first time purchasers, and we all know you can’t stop at just one. Since most BB stores don’t sell handguns, those sales are diverted to B&M.

  2. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that they will somehow require daily, weekly, monthly or annual inventories to be conducted, with paperwork.

    The hidden agenda is, of course, to make it difficult to legally buy a gun by reducing the number of firearm retailers.

    • They already have the model in place at drugstores, clinics and hospitals. If they declare firearms to be restricted like certain classes of drugs they can demand periodic inventories by qualified personnel and instigate a federal investigation for any discrepancies, not to mention random inspections to make sure the inventory you report is the same as the inventory on hand.

      • Such inspections aren’t random but are usually scheduled short notice. And yes, your bound book must reflect all acquisitions and dispositions. If it’s acquired and not disposed of, it’s expected to be on hand in your inventory. All my dispositions are either to other FFLs with their lic. numbers identified or available for inspection. I transfer to no private citizens as per my local zoning. And I don’t dare fool around lest I lose my hard earned license.

  3. The really killing part is FFL as a demographic being smaller are being less heard. But after a point they will wholesale oppose this entire diatribe when 51000 is less than 10000 and they band together demanding voice.

    FFL persons are POTG squared as a rule now. Hanging onto our rights is their livelihood. If you think they’re going to roll over and die, I doubt that very highly.

    • I wish that were true. In my experience, FFL folks are no different than rest of the population. I once used an FFL who received a shipment from the seller and not another FFL. While I was picking up the shipment & was doing the paperwork, he told me that he had half a mind to turn the guy in for the illegal shipment. I asked if he was serious & he said he was because it was illegal. I had to explain to this FFL, who’s been in business for decades, that he was wrong & why. He seemed to listen, but then said something that floored me. He voted both times for the current administration because he knew it would improve his business. After 30 mins of further discussion, I’m convinced he wasn’t pulling my leg. I don’t know him, but I’ll never use him again.

      I’m afraid the lower numbers of FFL holders doesn’t mean anything about true belief. It just means there are a few survivors. This was only my 2nd purchase of a weapon, so I’m hardly a significant sample of experience.

      • While not quite the same as your experience, my LGS at some point last year started requiring one’s Permit To Purchase before they’d let you buy anything semi-automatic, anything with a pistol grip, or anything with both. Normally, from what I understand, it’s supposed to be only for handguns or semi-auto rifles with pistol grips. Apparently they’d been threatened by the ATF for not doing with regards to shotguns…

        I didn’t really think about it at the time, but it later struck me that the ATF shouldn’t be able to dictate interpretation of STATE laws. Besides that, I really don’t think the guys at the LGS had any reason to go above and beyond the legal requirements regardless of the ATF’s supposed threats.

      • People are mistaken when they assume gun dealer = pro 2a.
        Gun dealers are all pro making money. Anything which enhances their ability to make money they are in favor of. Some, like me, are pro 2A and would rather there be no regulation in gun transfers and registration. I would happily go out of business if the government no longer required registration.

    • So much that comes out of the Executive Branch should be challenged for the same reason, but it seldom is. EPA regulations come to mind…

    • They cannot legislate, but under certain conditions they can create the rules and regulations regarding enforcement of legislation already passed. Except for Obamacare and similar multi-thousand page legislation intended to be impossible to understand, Congress is generally lazy about the details of enforcement and rely on the myriad agencies they create to come up with the actual day to day regulations and enforcement options.

  4. It’s all about baby steps.Right now, even if the antis had the support to ban guns outright in the US, there’s too many guns for them to account for.

    $1000 x 300 million = one big azz number.

    So, they’ve got to make it smaller.Step one is to make buying guns difficult:that cuts down on new people buying arms and reduces the circulation as old guns break and get seized.Increasing FFL regs gives DC more power to arbitrarily revoke FFL licenses, which curtails supply.

    • $1000 x 300 million = $300 billion dollars. Big azz number to folks like you and me, a sizeable piece of pork for a politician, but chickenfeed for the federal government.

      • Except not every gun will be valued at $1000.Some guns run over four times that .Just buying out USPSA limited shooters alone would probably run 300 billion right there.

        As much as the antis hate guns, they’re not going to like the idea of a tax hike just to buy our death machines .And a trillion dollar buyback ,total, would demand a high tax hike indeed.

        Thus the need to reduce the circulation.

  5. I get that this is yet another imposition being placed on retailers. It is wrong. But someone help me out here… .I read the source article from The Hill ( and it says – may be wrong as they didn’t attribute this number to any source other than the ATF (and we know how trustworthy they are) – 190,000 guns were lost or went missing from retailers last year. WTF?

    Are they walking out the backdoor? Being palmed and stolen during a sales process? Wholesale theft of a store? Or maybe being “lost” like so many of the POTGs’ favorite firearms that fell out of the canoe? How the hell does anyone stay in business like that?

    A lost or missing 190,000 firearms… this one we will lose as it looks very bad. Hell, I’m a gun nut and I can’t comprehend it!

    • I would bet that 99% of those are from robbery or paper work mistakes.

      Every wonder why so many gun shop workers are armed?

      Going by what was in a typical store in my area in Sept 2012 before the runs created by obama one could robbery would net a crook a few hundred guns. Even with safes, criminals manage to get in and steal. Also some of those guns are likely paper work issues but with the pounding FFL get they are likely a shrinking thing but I would bet not zero.

    • It seem highly unlikely that these 190,000 are spread evenly over the 51,000 FFL dealers. Our wonderfully efficient BATFE, if they were honestly doing their job rather than running point for the ant-2A crowd, would identify the dealers where the majority of these losses occurred and deal with THAT. But that is logical and therefore too much to ask of a government organization with a secret agenda.

    • The 190,000 number is the total number of all firearms lost or stolen in the entire nation. It turns out that the number from FFLs is a little less than 17,000. Even that is inflated, because it counts all “lost” firearms as part, even if they were misplaced and later found. Among 51,000 FFLs, to misplace a couple for a day or so is not out of the question. Remember, the FFL is required by law to report the “lost” firearm within 48 hours of the loss being discovered. There is no penalty if it is found a few hours later, and with this study, it is still counted as “lost”.

  6. Like the ATF should have anything to say about lost or stolen guns. Those dipshits have their weapons stolen regularly. And let us not forget fast and furious or their other very unconstitutional “sting” operations.

  7. I just love the picture. I laughed.

    Some years ago, WalMart stopped selling guns in California–and the reason was that their poor paperwork failed to account for a significant number of firearms, whether lost or stolen. When the ATF threatened to pull the FFL, WalMart voluntarily quit the business. I’ve heard rumors they may have started selling them again in Southern California, but not at the WalMarts way up here in the north state. And although they sell ammo, the only rounds I ever see now are .40s. Store clerk tells me they are getting it in, but without any schedule, and that the store cannot order to refill its shelves–it just gets what comes on the truck on any given day.


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