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ATF Targeting FFLs for License Revocation

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

ATF Targeting FFLs for License Revocation

At the direction of the Biden administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) appears to be revoking the licenses of firearm dealers for even minor paperwork violations.

On June 23, 2021, the “Biden-Harris Administration” announced a new policy of “zero tolerance for rogue gun dealers that willfully violate the law.” The policy further specified that “[a]bsent extraordinary circumstances that would need to be justified to the Director, ATF will seek to revoke the licenses of dealers the first time that they violate federal law . . .” for certain specified violations.

Despite changing decades of agency practice regarding when license revocation is appropriate, this policy was never made available to the public for comment or published in the federal register. It simply appeared on the White House’s website.

Then, last December, ATF updated its Federal Firearms Licensee Quick Reference and Best Practices Guide. The updated guide makes clear that “ATF will, absent extraordinary circumstances, initiate proceedings to revoke the license of any dealer that has committed a willful regulatory violation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) for specified violations.”

The Quick Reference Guide goes on to outline circumstances for revocation.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, ATF will issue a notice of revocation whenever it determines an FFL has willfully committed a single act of one of the following violations:

  1. Transferring a firearm to a prohibited person
  2. Failing to conduct a required background check
  3. Falsifying records, such as a firearms transaction form
  4. Failing to respond to a trace request
  5. Refusing to permit ATF to conduct an inspection

Other willful violations that may result in the issuance of a notice of revocation include but are not limited to failure to:

  1. Account for firearms
  2. Verify and document buyer eligibility
  3. Maintain records needed for successful firearms tracing
  4. Report multiple sales of handguns

While some of these may be serious violations that warrant revocation, many will be simple paperwork errors. Notably, “falsifying records” is a very broad category that can include making simple errors on the Form 4473, and “failing to respond to a trace request” could result from simply missing an attempted contact by ATF.

The new “zero tolerance” policy has a clear aim of reducing the number of federally licensed dealers, which will in turn make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

If you are a licensed dealer, and you believe that you have been targeted under the Biden Administration’s new policy, please contact NRA at [email protected].

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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

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Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Two anti-gun bills continue to move in the Colorado State Legislature. HB24-1174, introduced by Majority Leader Monica Duran (D-HD 23),  is set to be heard next week in the House Finance Committee. HB24-1310 , introduced by ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

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Maine: Rally to Stop Extreme Gun-Control Next Week

Friday, March 1, 2024

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If you have been paying attention, you are already aware that anti-gun politicians in Augusta have released an all-out assault on your Second Amendment rights.

Michigan: “Gun-Free Zone” Legislation Passed in the Senate

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Michigan: “Gun-Free Zone” Legislation Passed in the Senate

House Bill 4127 and House Bill 4128, legislation that would restrict law-abiding gun owners in and around polling places, which includes ballot drop boxes, passed out of the Senate will be sent back to the House ...

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

Thursday, February 29, 2024

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

On February 27th, Senate Bill 203 received final passage on the House floor on a vote of 62-8. The legislation will now head to Governor Noem's desk for her consideration.

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Last week, South Carolina moved one step closer to becoming the 28th state to enact Permitless/Constitutional Carry! This effort has been years in the making, clearing a major hurdle by passing the Senate, which has been ...

Ohio: Gun Owner Credit Card Privacy Bill Passes the Senate

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ohio: Gun Owner Credit Card Privacy Bill Passes the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee passed Senate Bill 148, The Second Amendment Privacy Act. The bill was quickly sent to the Senate floor where it passed by a vote of 25-7. This ...

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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.