Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

N.C. Gun Stores Beat BATFE

Friday, November 21, 2008

Untitled Document

N.C. Gun Stores Beat BATFE

In an all-too-rare court victory, a pair of North Carolina gun stores has defeated an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to revoke the stores’ federal dealers’ licenses. The win came in a Sept. 16 opinion by Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The two stores, Jim’s Gun Jobbery in Fayetteville and Jim’s Pawn & Gun in Wilmington, are owned by the same family, and the Fayetteville store is the largest gun store in North Carolina. BATFE began revocation proceedings in 2004, even though a 2001 BATFE “warning letter” commended one of the stores for its “concerted effort to comply with the laws and regulations.”

After reviewing BATFE’s decision, Judge Howard found that record keeping errors by the stores “do not constitute the type of ‘conscious, intentional, deliberate, [and] voluntary’ actions that are deemed willful.” Since a dealer’s license can only be revoked for “willful” violations, the bureau “was without authority to revoke [the stores’] licenses.”

Since a dealer’s license can only be revoked for “willful” violations, the bureau “was without authority to revoke [the stores’] licenses.”

Attorney Richard E. Gardiner, who represented the two stores, commented, “We were pleased that Judge Howard took the time to understand that Congress meant what it said when it authorized license revocations only when violations of the regulations were willful and rejected BATFE’s argument that simply repeating a human error in a minuscule number of instances was enough to revoke a license.”

In fact, Judge Howard found that the stores’ efforts to improve their records showed “a conscious effort to comply with the [Gun Control Act].” The judge pointed to the stores’ employee training programs and operating procedures as evidence that these were law-abiding businesses. Storeowner James Faircloth noted, “As a small business, we have always worked diligently to comply with the complex regulations and requirements of the BATFE. It has always been, and remains, our top priority to ensure that we have complete and accurate firearms records. We believe these efforts were recognized by the judge and provided the foundation for his decision in our case.”

The case also sheds light on anti-gun groups’ favorite talking point about “missing guns.” For example, one anti-gun website called Jim’s a “rogue dealer” that had been “bleeding guns illegally for 10 years.”

But Judge Howard’s review told a different story. The judge noted that in BATFE’s 2004 inspection of the Fayetteville store, the agency found 230 “open dispositions” out of more than 129,000 guns acquired. While anti-gunners would spin these as “missing guns,” a closer review showed that 68 of the guns were actually still in the store. Most of the others had been mistakenly entered twice in the store’s acquisition records, sent to manufacturers for repair, returned to customers, or were otherwise properly accounted for.

Overall, in fact, the stores’ record keeping compared favorably to that of BATFE itself. The bureau reported 76 guns and 418 laptop computers missing in a recent audit by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General. The injustice of a troubled agency trying to hold dealers to a higher standard than it applies to itself only demonstrates the need to pass a comprehensive reform bill, such as H.R. 4900 in the current Congress (see “Time to Stop BATFE Abuses,” April 2008).

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Earlier today, the Washington state Senate Law & Justice Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 out of committee with a 4-3 vote. As drafted, this legislation has overreaching language that would ban modifications commonly made to ...

Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

News  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

Democrats searching for a standard-bearer in the 2020 presidential election lit on long-time entertainment, media, and publishing figure Oprah Winfrey this week, following a speech Winfrey gave at a televised Hollywood extravaganza.

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda

News  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda

This week, Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam outlined their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session, and highlighted expanded background checks for all firearm sales and other transfers (so-called “universal” background checks) as ...

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

With the 2018 Indiana legislative session underway, a number of bills affecting your Second Amendment and hunting rights have been filed.

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

On Friday, January 12, several amicus briefs were filed in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit challenging California’s restrictions against magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ...

Washington: Substitute Versions of Gun Control Bills to Be Heard

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Washington: Substitute Versions of Gun Control Bills to Be Heard

Last night, anti-gun legislators introduced substitute bills for Senate Bill 5444 and Senate Bill 5463.  These substituted versions will replace the original bills that are scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, January 15th. NRA remains opposed ...

Washington: Senate Law & Justice Committee to Hear Anti-Gun Bills Next Monday

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Washington: Senate Law & Justice Committee to Hear Anti-Gun Bills Next Monday

On Monday, January 15th at 10:00AM, the Senate Law & Justice Committee is scheduled to hear multiple anti-gun bills.  Testimony will be limited during the hearing, so all NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly ...

Washington: Gun Control Bill Scheduled for Vote in House Judiciary

Friday, January 12, 2018

Washington: Gun Control Bill Scheduled for Vote in House Judiciary

Next Thursday, January 18th, House Bill 1122 is scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee. Introduced by Representative Ruth Kagi (D-34) in 2017, HB 1122 received a public hearing last year and a ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Massachusetts: Your Action Needed on Critical Preemption Bill

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Massachusetts: Your Action Needed on Critical Preemption Bill

State Representative James Miceli (D-19th Middlesex) will be writing a letter to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security urging them to vote favorably on House Bill 1296 to improve firearms preemption laws ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.