Biden's ATF revokes licenses for hundreds of gun dealers in new crackdown

"This policy is designed to be a backdoor violation of the Second Amendment.” 


Firearms dealers are pushing back against the Biden administration, which has begun to revoke licenses at an unprecedented rate, causing dealers to file lawsuits and/or threaten to stop informing federal agencies of suspicious buyers in reaction to the perceived government overreach. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has revoked the licenses of 122 dealers since October, which is up from 90 last year, and 27 in 2021. Neither the Trump nor Obama administrations ever revoked more than 81 licenses since at least 2013. 

While some law-enforcement officials think the shutdowns are a good thing because the administration is no longer giving them a "slap on the wrist," others are afraid it will make their job harder because firearm dealers are a valuable resource in combating crime. 

Retired ATF agent Rick Vasquez, told the Journal, "The ATF, previous to this administration, had a ‘Let’s see if we can help you’ attitude and some gun dealers took advantage of that."

Retired deputy assistant director Peter Forcelli noted, “The gun dealers were our first line of defense against gun trafficking." He questioned, "Why are we now beating an ally into submission?"

One shop owner who had his license revoked, Anthony Navaro, claimed the administration is using minor paperwork errors to erode the Second Amendment. "We were making $1 million a year, now it’s less than $100,000," he said, "This policy is designed to be a backdoor violation of the Second Amendment."

"We’ve taken steps to hold accountable those few dealers who are engaging in these willful violations,” ATF Director Steve Dettelbach said of the crackdown. "They’re not going to have the privilege of being a gun dealer anymore." 

Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale Sr. (R-MT) claimed in June that the Biden administration is "weaponizing federal agencies to target and harass hard-working Americans for exercising their constitutional rights." This took place just after the ATF and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided a gun shop and seized background check forms.

"While we wait to hear more details and the rationale behind this raid, given the positions of the Biden Administration this raid appears to be an attempt to intimidate firearms dealers and owners," a letter to the heads of the agencies read. "A pattern of intimidation and harassment seems to be emerging under Director Dettelbach’s leadership of the ATF."

"This pattern appears to be orchestrated directly from the White House as evident by the 'fact sheet' released by the Biden Administration, where they detail their plans to hassle mom-and-pop gun shops over minor record keeping and paperwork discrepancies," the letter detailed. 

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