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Brady Center Misleads Public On BATFE Reform Bill

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Brady Center’s latest hatchet job attacks makes many false claims about firearm dealer license revocations, in order to attack H.R. 5092 and the reforms that bill would make.

The “study” is based on published court decisions that have upheld BATFE license revocations.  This is misleading because it excludes all cases (about 90% of revocations) where dealers choose not to file a challenge in court—often because the dealer couldn’t afford the necessary attorneys’ fees. 

The study also implies that dealers violate the law more often than they used to.  To “prove” this, the Brady Center relies on studies from the Clinton administration, which targeted licensees in an effort to reduce the availability of firearms to law-abiding Americans.  It’s not surprising that when BATFE politically broadened the definition of “violations,” it found more of them.

The report also harps on dealers who had guns “lost” or “unaccounted for.”  These vague phrases don’t tell us whether the dealer had a gun stolen, made a paperwork mistake, or made criminal “off the book” sales.  Obviously, under current law or under H.R. 5092, intentional sales without paperwork would be serious violations, for which a dealer could have his license revoked (and even be arrested and imprisoned).

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.