US virus coronavirus gun sales
David Liu, right, owner of a gun store, takes an order from a customer in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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I am not one to actively jump into confrontation and call someone a liar but this time, things are a little different. After working seven days a week for the past month or so dealing with lots of impatient new gun owners and impatient present gun owners and understocked…well you get the idea.

I woke up Monday morning to read TTAG’s quote of the day in which the Brady Campaign’s Kyleanne Hunter claimed the ATF isn’t doing its oversight job and implied that gun retailers are virtually giving away firearms.

The biggest problem, Hunter said, is that the government’s gun inspection services haven’t been deemed essential on a national basis, which has opened the door for questionable sales.

“We don’t know how gun dealers are acting,” she said. “Groceries are still open but the FDA is still open inspecting the food. Why aren’t agents inspecting the gun stores?”

That’s a steaming pantload of misinformation.

I have been working in the industry for over a decade. I do this stuff day after day, week after week. Kyleanne Hunter is probably not a bad person, but she obviously knows nothing of what she speaks.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Anti-Gun Talking Points

Yes, I will take the time to research, rebut and fisk her asinine comments.

Here’s exactly where her argument goes off the rails. She claimed that ATF isn’t considered essential and that firearm retailers are not being inspected right now.

That’s patently false. I just talked to FFL’s who just got inspected within the last few weeks by ATF personnel. In their stores and remotely.

The ATF may have many of their people working from home, but I am constantly getting answers to emails from them. It’s taking a little longer than usual due to the volume, but I’m getting replies.

Coronavirus gun buying surge
Andrea Schry, right, fills out the buyer part of legal forms to buy a handgun as shop worker Missy Morosky fills out the vendors parts after Dukes Sport Shop reopened, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New Castle, Pa. under the new conditions specified for gun stores.  (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

I’m also getting ATF folks picking up the phone and returning calls. Granted, I’ve been in the industry long enough to have the cell phone numbers of half my local ATF field office, so I can put that to good use when dealing with complicated customer matters.

Did Professor Hunter talk to anyone at the ATF about their staffing levels and inspection practices? I didn’t think so. Instead, she’s spewing vitriol and misinformation from behind the the walls of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex.

We don’t know how gun dealers are acting.

Hunter slyly implies that during a national emergency, America’s firearms retailers are practically throwing guns out the front door to anyone who shows up (and remains a socially distanced six feet away).

Here’s what’s really happening, Ms. Hunter. Sellers across the country, people just like me, are working every day, putting on our best “STAY SIX FEET AWAY FROM ME AFTER YOU HAND ME YOUR ID” game faces and getting folks the guns and ammunition they need, one 4473 at a time. Just like we always have, but with a few changes.

We background check every regulated transaction and call ATF and ask questions and do our business as usual.

The ATF is most certainly essential and they’re working. Most of them are working from home. And as America’s gun stores can tell you, they’re still inspecting retailers.

Nothing has changed in terms of compliance with federal laws in the past four weeks, no matter what you’d like the media to believe.

Can ATF agents inspect a licensee in person right now? Sure they can. Will they? Probably not, given the circumstances. However, they as the regulatory authority, have the full ability to do inspections just as they always have.

Tomorrow morning I could wake up to a bevy of ATF folks with clipboards and laptops asking to see my books. And if they’re in my store, I’m going to ask them where they’d like to start.

The last ATF inspection I had involved several ATF people – because they literally had to review a mountain of 4473’s and books for years and took about a week for them to make sure we were following all of the federal laws that regulate gun and NFA items in this country.

It’s not worth it for any retailer to risk his federal firearms license by cutting corners during a national emergency. We document every transaction. If we don’t follow the law, it will be discovered during our next inspection.

Professor Hunter seems to think that just because most ATF agents are working from home, licensees are not being inspected. Not true. We’re seeing unprecedented levels of cooperation from regulators and retailers alike. Last week I talked to another dealer who we had sent some firearms to and I asked him how his business was doing. He’s a small home-based kitchen table FFL who mostly did gun shows on the weekends.

With all the gun shows scrubbed, his income from the firearm business dried up and he wasn’t making much money other than doing the occasional transfer. What impressed me was the way he worked with ATF to complete his inspection last month.

Instead of ATF going to his home and opening up all of his records and running through everything line by line, they used technology to their advantage. Electronic A&D software generates a printout/spreadsheet of inventory and sales, all of which can be emailed over to the ATF for them to run through on their laptops at home.

Why’d they do it that way? Easy. This home-based FFL has kids that aren’t in school and a spouse who’s working from home. That’s a sticky wicket to navigate even without the threat of infectious disease.

In closing, the Brady Campaign’s Kyleanne Hunter Professor Hunter is absolutely WRONG about ATF oversight of gun retailers.

As Mr. Sam Rayburn of Texas said, any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one. It gives me great pleasure to announce to the ladies and gentlemen of TTAG that we’ve found our jackass.

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  1. The Anti crowd as a rule tend towards anti Constitution,un American Marxist’s,lying is a art form for them,as a rule.

  2. Having a former military and dishonorable officer as the face of a dishonest and deceitful group like Brady is just how it done in 2020.

    • To the Brady Bunch, ALL gun dealers without exception are greedy, amoral, uncaring death dealing people who will sell, or even give, guns to anyone and everyone no questions asked. Because that is what the great educator Hollywood has always shown.

      It doesn’t matter what they want because it is never enough and they always want more. They hope to achieve their utopia through progressive incrementalism.

      • You really should seek help for your psychiatric problems…….before it gets worse and you do something even MORE stupid.

        • Granny, either I misunderstand what you said, or you misunderstand what Southern Cross said.
          I think it’s the second one.

          SC’s first paragraph is sarcasm, pointed out by his second paragraph, which characterizes the gun grabbers, not FFLs. The giveaway is his last sentence, which describes the grabbers’ rather obvious actions.

  3. Perhaps the Jim Crow Gun Control crowd can convince the spaceman giffords to attempt another prohibited purchase. With no ATF in sight a savy gun store owner caught giffords trying to purchase an AR15 for purposes other than his own use. The spaceman was sent into orbit when the purchase was denied.
    To think you can waltz into a gun store and walk out willynilly ain’t happening today. On the other hand never mind a form 4473, sell a firearm privately to the wrong individual and they do something illegal chances are very good the seller joins the perp in the crossbar hotel, court, etc.

  4. Hank:
    Thank you for all that you do. Your efforts are appreciated. This is an individual with an agenda and a lousy sense of right and wrong. In my estimation, she is a loon.

  5. I am strongly anti ATF, but it’s the existence of the agency and some of the appointed bureaucrats that occupy the upper management that I dislike, not the people who do the real work. Under normal conditions, they usually do a fine job and are probably way understaffed for their work load. Blaming them now is not helping anyone and only puts the BATFE agents just trying to do a good job in a bad public light, basically accusing them of being incompetent, which I would strong deny. Watch the next mass shooting blamed on the ATF by the Brady bunch.

    • regulatory people tend to be personable and easy-going for the most part…they learned long ago that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar…

  6. Real question- what role does the ATF have in day to day business for an FFL? I had thought that other than NFA items the FBI was the main infringing body at the consumer sales level.

  7. Last I heard, inspections weren’t even an annual event. An in-depth audit would make sure that everything in the log book was still in the shop, anything in the shop was in the log book, and there was a 4473 for every sale, and the 4473s were filled out correctly. Most weren’t in-depth and consisted of a cursory look at the log book and 4473s to see if the store looked organized, up-to-date on rules, and to answer any questions the proprietor might have.

    • Please send that inspector to my store for a “cursory” look. I’ve never had a visit that was other than a full blown inspection.
      My last two inspections took 10 days each because they looked at every single firearm in the store (~600) and every shred of paper dealing with a firearms transfer. Every. Single. Page. of every 4473. It’s about as pleasant as a colonoscopy. We process about 1600 forms a year on average.
      I sell used firearms and loan money (pawnbroker) on others. I’m responsible for the license.
      The Industry Operations Inspectors are totally professional and I call them whenever I have a question.
      Btw, we’re in the same town where Spaceman Spiff tried to buy that AR under false pretenses.

  8. Lol at a FFL wilfully electronically sending the ATT a copy of their bound book…

    Come on Hank… ‘You have been in the business over a decade…’

    Should the subject line to that email be ” Gun Registry “?

    • So I’m not the only one who noticed that.

      On the bright side, a random kitchen table FFL transferring digitized original sale records to the ATF won’t create much of a database.

      • Until they staff up or just hire a consulting firm to have a small army of analysts do data entry, for a couple thousand dollars.

        It doesn’t matter what format the records are in; if they have them in-hand, then they can put them into a database today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. That data is now theirs.

    • At least he turned around to point the firearm in a safe direction after bribing the owner to violate state and federal laws

  9. There is NOTHING less essential and more offensive to the constitution than the ATF.

    Why is TTAG giving These goons a regular platform as if they are some sort of friends of the gun? Spare me these assholes. The last thing I want to hear is propaganda from these jack booted stassi thugs.

    atf agents and their families should be shunned.

  10. Wait, what? A Brady employee is lying? Say it ain’t so! A better question is “how much is little Mikey paying her to lie?”


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