There’s a civilian disarmament complex JournoList. How else do you explain the New York Times article on Governor Cuomo joining the Brady Campaign for Prevent Gun Violence’s upcoming crusade against “bad apple” gun dealers coming within hours of thetrace.org’s article Only 7 Percent of Licensed Gun Dealers Were Inspected Last Year? In the wake of Representative Gwen Moore’s Gun Dealer Accountability Act [via thinkpropgress.org]? Anti-gun agitprop propagators are setting-up the push to punish (their word) gun dealers who legally sell a legal product to non-prohibited buyers. Right now the question is, are gun dealers “uniquely shielded from scrutiny”? Make the jump for The Trace’s case . . .
At most, federal agents are allowed to visit gun sellers no more than once every twelve months to ensure compliance with the Gun Control Act of 1968, which established the federal licensing system for firearms dealers and mandates that anyone in the business of selling guns adhere to certain requirements. Any additional inspections require a warrant.
The once-a-year rule is just the limit to how often the ATF can inspect a gun dealer. The agency’s goal is for its 780 inspectors to visit the country’s 140,000 licensed dealers every three to five years, a target they rarely meet. In 2013, only 42 percent of gun sellers had been inspected in the preceding five years. Last year, just 7 percent of dealers nationwide were inspected.
Even when an inspection raises flags, it can take a long time for agents to return. In the late ’90s, ATF inspectors arrived at Shawano Gun & Loan, a now-defunct gun dealer 150 miles north of Milwaukee, for an unannounced inspection and found that records were missing on the sale of at least 145 guns. Despite the violations, investigators didn’t return to the store for five years, citing tight budgets and overworked investigators.
Businesses in other industries with implications for public health are subject to tougher oversight. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects tobacco retailers as many times a year as it sees fit. The same goes for alcohol retailers, which are inspected by the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), a division of the Department of the Treasury. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which regulates pharmaceutical manufacturers, is able to periodically audit registered controlled substance storage locations and laboratories across the country with no prior notice. It also enjoys wide latitude to shut down rogue Internet pharmacies.
Fair enough? Or fair enough, considering that the ATF has a habit of hassling gun dealers, period. Like this.