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.
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.