Leaked ATF Docs Reveal 'Aggressive' Push To Shut Down Gun Stores
Submitted by Gun Owners of America,
In 2021, the Biden Administration announced a new "Zero Tolerance" policy for revoking the licenses of firearm sellers, known as Federal Firearms Licensees or "FFLs." As part of this new policy, the ATF recently updated its "Federal Firearms Administrative Action Policy and Procedures."
Gun Owners of America obtained copies of this updated ATF order, revised under the Biden Administration in January of 2022, along with the prior version that existed under the Trump Administration.
Based on a review of changes in ATF's policy, it is clear that the Biden Administration is seeking to weaponize ATF's bureaucracy against the entire Second Amendment industry.
Here are the ATF's leaked internal guidelines for FFL revocation:
The Biden Administration's new Zero Tolerance policy is overly harsh—seemingly intentionally so—on honest gun stores.
In fact, between January and September of 2022, ATF field offices in Charlotte, Columbus, Houston, Louisville, New Orleans, and St. Paul revoked licenses more frequently than they issued "warning conferences"—a much less severe penalty that ATF's own manual deems is necessary to "assess the FFL's potential to achieve compliance and determine any potential risks to public safety and firearm traceability."
In other words, under the Biden Administration, ATF has changed its focus from regulating the gun industry to destroying it by whatever means possible—eliminating access to firearms by putting as many gun dealers as possible out of business.
Watch: GOA breaks down ATF's Internal Memos on "Zero Tolerance"
There was at least a 200% increase in FFL revocations since enactment of ATF's Zero Tolerance policy. Of course, license revocations are a lengthy process, and this number almost certainly will continue to increase. Compare Biden's Zero Tolerance policy to ATF's prior policy:
Zero Tolerance: "ATF will revoke a federal firearms license, absent extraordinary circumstances on initial violations."
Prior Guidance: "ATF may revoke a federal firearms license under appropriate circumstances based on an initial set of violations.
Even worse, ATF is using a history of good behavior and compliance with federal law against FFLs. Under Biden's Zero Tolerance, now even a history of compliance, followed by a single unintentional mistake, may be used as proof of a so-called "willful" violation.
So if you have a history of noncompliance, you are in trouble. On the other hand, if you have a history of compliance, you are still in trouble because you should have known better, and your violations are now suspect of being willful.
Of course, there is another nefarious purpose behind the Biden Administration's Zero Tolerance agenda to eliminate gun stores. When an FFL goes out of business, it is required to send every Firearm Transaction Form (Form 4473) to the ATF, along with its "bound book" and other records.
As of November 2021, ATF has turned 920,664,765 of these records into an illegal national gun registry. According to ATF, 865,787,086 records already are in an electronic format, which Gun Owners of America proved to be digital, searchable, and centralized—in violation of federal law.
Of course, because ATF cannot enter a dealer's records into its registry until the FFL goes out of business, the Biden Administration's mass license revocation strategy allows ATF to expand its national gun registry at an unprecedented rate.
So, why does this matter?
Because a Federal Firearms License can now be revoked for first offenses, many well intentioned gun stores (and their employees) are now guaranteed to lose their livelihoods if ATF decides to construe an innocent mistake as a "willful" violation.
This hurts not only the FFL and its employees, but also the firearms community by reducing access to lawful self-defense tools and expanding ATF's illegal out-of-business gun registration records for the communities formerly served by the store.
The more FFLs the Biden Administration shuts down, the less access Americans will have to their Second Amendment rights and the more data the federal government will control about the identities of law-abiding gun owners in each community.
In addition to license revocations, ATF's Zero Tolerance policy further demonstrates a disinterest in helping FFLs become compliant, by removing notices and using what information ATF does provide as proof of intent to violate the agency's numerous, complex, and Kafkaesque rules.
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