Previous Post
Next Post

By Lee Williams

Master gunsmith James Morrison founded JM Gun Repair 46 years ago, after doing gun repairs in his garage.

The gun shop has been a local institution ever since, offering firearms, black powder and reloading gear, ammunition including hard-to-find calibers and James’ incredible skills as a master gunsmith with 50 years of experience.

The business is perfectly located, straddling the county line between Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. “This has been a family legacy for 46 years,” said James’ grandson, Noah Morrison. His father and uncle work at the shop too.

Noah, who just turned 21, dreamed of becoming the third generation of Morrisons to operate this family business. However, his dreams were dashed when George Hancock, an ATF Industry Operations Investigator, known as an IOI, walked into the shop, at around the same time Joe Biden announced his war on “rogue” gun dealers.

“During the audit, he found faults in our paperwork,” Noah said. “In in the past, for these types of minor faults, an auditor would have just handed us a pen and told us to fix them.”

Noah’s father Benwayne Morrison, agrees.

“These were clerical errors, but they changed the definition,” he said. “Under their new definition, they said our violations were willful. After 46 years we never gave a gun to someone who shouldn’t have it, but that didn’t matter. None of the violations were on Biden’s ‘rogue’ gun dealer list.”

Benwayne Morrison and his son, Noah Morrison. (SAF-IJP photo)

Rogue dealers defined

Joe Biden first announced his zero-tolerance policy in June 2021. Part of his scheme included five criteria, which he claimed defined a rogue dealer:

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, the ATF is revoking licenses for the most minor of errors – errors not on Biden’s five-point list. As a result, a special report we published in May revealed that FFL revocations increased a staggering 500 percent.

No due process

Effective Aug. 23, JM Gun Repair can no longer transfer or sell firearms. The family intends to keep the shop open, selling ammunition, reloading and black powder supplies, gear and other accessories, but not guns or even gunsmithing services. They posted a note on their website announcing the changes.

“Our family legacy is gone,” Benwayne said. “My father started this business. A master gunsmith is a rare breed. He can tell you the details about a gun made 100 years ago. He’s still sharp as a tack. Our family was screwed over by the ATF.”

The worst part for him and his family is that there was no way to appeal the ATF’s order.

There was no due process.

Benwayne contacted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, but was told since it was a federal matter, he should contact Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Benwayne never received a response from Scott’s office. One of Rubio’s assistants told him to send more information, but he has not heard back.

Building an illegal registry

Both Benwayne and Noah believe there is another, unspoken reason why the ATF is revoking hundreds of FFLs. Any time a gun shop closes or is ordered out of business, they must mail years of records to the ATF.

“They’re building a gun registry, and that’s illegal,” Benwayne said. “If you want to build a registry, the easiest way to do it is to have gun dealers supply their records. That’s the quickest way for them to find out who has what kind of guns. If they shut down a 46-year-old store that’s had thousands of sales, all of a sudden, they’ve got a lot of records.”

Neither Jason Medina, public information officer for ATF’s Tampa Field Division, nor Aaron Gerber, the Division’s Director of Industry Operations, returned calls seeking comment for this story.

Takeaways

It’s clear that the Biden-Harris administration believes if they eliminate all the gun dealers, they will eliminate all the guns. But since there is only a handful of actual rogue dealers out of the 50,000 licensed gun dealers doing business in the country, the administration had to devise another tactic. As a result, they came up with the “willful” scheme.

Now, even the most insignificant clerical error is a “willful” violation, which means the dealer is a rogue, and their license is quickly revoked. The ATF was happy to play along, since they’ve always been more than willing to bend over for the White House, regardless of the constitutionality of the request.

The two hallmarks of the Morrison family business have always been safety and family. Benwayne used to train Boy Scouts. His father taught hunter safety classes. They educate every first-time gun buyer before they leave the shop.

“My parents could have retired years ago, but they wanted to keep the business going for their children and their grandchildren,” Benwayne said. “It’s frustrating to me that now my son Noah is old enough to be part of the family business, but he can’t. We’ve always been a law-abiding shop. We’ve done our best for nearly a half century to educate the public and keep the public safe. So, if they can do this to us, they can do this to anybody.”

 

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

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

Previous Post
Next Post

50 COMMENTS

    • Actually I think you can go straight to the federal courts with a lawsuit and don’t need to go the appeals route but the appeals route is in federal court anyway.

      According to the ATF’s web site > https://www.atf.gov/firearms/revocation-firearms-licenses

      “What is a Willful Violation?

      The GCA does not define “willful.” The federal courts, however, have held that a willful violation of the GCA’s regulations occurs when the FFL commits the violation with an intentional disregard of a known legal duty or with plain indifference to their legal obligations.

      While relatively few FFLs engage in such conduct, the negative effect that willful violations have on public safety can be immense. Consequently, the courts have also held that a single willful violation of a GCA regulation is a sufficient basis for ATF to revoke an FFL’s license.”

      “Appeal Process

      Within 60 days of receipt of the final notice of revocation, the licensee may file a petition for judicial review in federal court. This petition must be filed with the U.S. District Court for the district where the licensee resides or has their principal place of business. There is a fee for filing a civil action in federal court.”

      The ATF needs to prove the FFL had an intentional disregard of a known legal duty or had plain indifference to their legal obligations.

      If these were genuine small clerical errors they are not wilful violations and this is the ATF assuming authority they do not have.

    • “Noah should get his own FFL…”

      The existing stock of firearms may be in a sort of legal ‘limbo’ while it sorts itself out, unfortunately.

      I hope the 2A Foundation and others take an interest in this case and take it all the way and drop it into St. Clarence Thomas’s lap and have him decide what to do with a rouge agency out to violate citizens constitutional rights.

      Perhaps a separate lawsuit is in order claiming a violation of the 2A?

    • I’d imagine that the ATF would get all the original paperwork on the original business so they are still happy about that.

      Seems like a new license under a new name would be the quicker and cheaper path forward. I can only imagine how many guns you’d have to sell in the future to pay for lawyers to file a federal case.

      With a new license under a new name the fascist ATF still gets to brag about putting a legacy FFL out of business.

  1. No bueno. I am particularly concerned, because I have to ship a favored firearm off shortly for a 02/07 specialist to do some work that less than a hand full nationwide are experienced in.

    @Dan

    Speaking of which, perhaps you guys could help a brother out with an article on the in’s & out’s, rules & regs, and most importantly protecting & insuring your shipment.

    • Best bet when shipping a gun to a specialist is to bring it to your favorite local FFL and let them take care of it. It has to ship back to you through a gun store anyways. Tell them you want it insured. Depending on the insurance service it’s usually a little over a dollar cost per hundred dollars of value you insure it for

      • Firearms sent in for repairs or gunsmith work can be sent directly back to you generally only requiring a signature on receipt. Unless the laws have changed in the last two weeks.

    • First the war, then the trials.
      However I believe this go around the good guys will lose.
      To much power, to much surveillance, to few Patriots.
      .
      My XBox tray wont open, damn.
      What’s on pornhub today.
      Does the purple lipstick match my pink boxer underwear or should I go with somthing else, Alexis help.

  2. Paperwork violations are the worst offenses in the bureaucratic state. Only the wealthy with teams of lawyers and accountants to perpetually pass the buck around will be spared.

    Expect an un-dotted “i” to earn you a lethal injection in the not-too-distant future.

    • “Only the wealthy with teams of lawyers and accountants to perpetually pass the buck around will be spared.”

      Civil rights violations can get their lawyer’s fees charged back to the offender, can they not?

      I predict a booming business in such lawsuits for conservative-minded civil rights attorneys. They can put those degrees to work and build massive practices with gun ranges in the basements, all paid for by anti-Leftist Scum ™ lawsuits… 🙂

  3. What happens when Gun Owners fail to define Gun Control for America as a history confirmed agenda rooted in racism and genocide. Either define Gun Control by its despicable history or let it come in through your frontdoor or sneak through your backdoor like it did to the Florida Gun Shop and others.

  4. “Now, even the most insignificant clerical error is a “willful” violation”

    “We had to double the size of the IRS to go after the 1%, not you.”
    “Do your taxes and you have nothing to worry about.”

    We’re in the destabilization phase of the communist takeover.

  5. Are they selling T shirts and other things with their logo on them? I want 1 or 2 in 3x. This could help them hang around until we get a better president.

    • Paul,
      I think you’ve mentioned that you’re a Democrat in California. I’m not trying to put you on the spot. I’m just curious about changing perceptions and attitudes. Did you vote for Biden, but now you’re willing to try a different person?

      Interestingly enough, “someone…” -filler(ignore)- “…else” goes to moderation. Geez, this system.

      • Well this sux…they politburo’ed this poor old guy. If they can raid DJT it can happen to anyone. RED NOVEMBER anyone?

        • Martin Armstrong says Socrates is predicting there may not be an election in 2022.

          Socrates is his AI system designed for predictive analytics. They feed it global economic, social, political, and even weather data.

          If you haven’t been following Armstrong, you might want to consider doing so.

          BTW, he is not a fan of the left (putting it mildly).

          Just saying.

    • Thank you for all the calls and emails about shirts, I was surprised by this. Paul was the first person to contact us about it. We don’t have shirts but when Ben first read your email he said if the shirt he was wearing then, the one in the picture above, was your size, he would have washed it and sent it to you just for your support. Thank you. If we make shirts in the future you will be the first to get one.

  6. So if you’ve already lost your license, what happens if you happen to also lose a bunch of the past transfer paperwork? (Kind of a rhetorical question, I assume the punishment tops out at death)

    “Whoops, you said my record keeping was bad enough to lose my government permission slip, guess you were right…”

  7. Who effing cares what this emmer effer says, or even effing thinks. His effing chances of winning an effing election that hasn’t been effing rigged are absoeffinglutely zero. Eff this mofo straigjt to effing h e doubletoothpicks, beyotches.
    See, it can be done

  8. In other news, FBI agents have recently been spotted wearing Melania Trump’s clothing. Next, a fashion runway event at Langley.

    The seized more than paperwork during that raid.

    • Actually, the Gun Control Act of 1968 requires completed F4473’s (where a transfer takes place) must be retained by the dealer for a minimum of 20 years. Bound record books with the firearm & transferee’s info must be kept as long as you maintain your FFL. There is a proposed “ruling” to make FFL’s keep their completed F4473’s as long as they remain in business and make it illegal to destroy F4473’s over 20 years old.

  9. “Any time a gun shop closes or is ordered out of business, they must mail years of records to the ATF.”

    this right here is WHY every firearms shop that believes in 2nd rights should have a mysterious fire every 3 or 5 years like clockwork!

  10. Laws and regulations are written by lawyers.

    Some attorney’s will try to use escape-proof wording, nailing down every possibility of interpretation. Some will use language that can only be interpreted widely.

    Government uses lawyers of the school of thought: “The words mean whatever we say they mean.”

    The state of the union today is what “end of empire” looks like.

  11. I’ve been in their shop before. Not an easy place to find it’s well hidden in an industrial park.
    Worth visiting hope they figure a way to resolve this.

    Another one worth visiting if you are ever down here is the Bullet Hole.
    One word of advice if you do visit. Barb is very knowledgeable about everything in the shop.
    I’d hate for someone to underestimate her and make a fool of themselves.

  12. ATF and several other Federal Agencies are going to pay dearly for their fawning and indiscretions.
    Specifically, in November.

    • “ATF and several other Federal Agencies are going to pay dearly for their fawning and indiscretions.
      Specifically, in November.”

      What will that look like?

      Repubs likely to take the house, Dems to keep the senate. When was the last time Repubs acted like Dems, and extracted vengeance?

        • “Reconstruction? Maybe civil rights era.”

          Reconstruction is probably the last example. It took Repubs to get the 64 Civil Rights Act passed; Johnson didn’t have the Dem votes. Saving a Dem program isn’t something one could call vengeful.

  13. Why are those “insignificant clerical errors” unmentioned anywhere in the story? What are they? How many of them were found? Along with all the appropriate follow up questions. This smells like nothing more than a hustle.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here