Anti-gun zealots love to claim that gun stores are practically unregulated. Giffords, for example, claims, “Although all firearms in the United States originate with licensed gun dealers, these dealers are subject to very little federal scrutiny.” This argument is parroted throughout the anti-gun sphere of the internet and in their face-to-face meetings.

Of course, it’s absolute bovine excrement.

For example, let’s take a look at what’s happening with a gun store in Illinois.

A Zion gun store might lose its Federal Firearms License with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in connection with allegations that 1st Class Firearms owner Craig Bricco has failed to address clerical errors in firearm purchases.

At the heart of the revocation issue is what the bureau considers an excessive number of mistakes on the six-page ATF form 4473, which is required of the buyer for every sale of a weapon.

Bricco told the News-Sun that he takes responsibility for the mistakes made, but feels that 42 clerical errors in over 1,500 forms, over a 12-month period going back to early 2014, is hardly excessive. Bricco stressed he’s always tried to improve on mistakes, but that past history with the bureau has probably worked against him.

An ATF special agent responded by saying the forms should be virtually error free, given the importance of accurately tracking weapons sold to the public.

Bricco can appeal a ruling, but he’s also mulling options for the Sheridan Road location he’s owned since 2008 in the event he loses his license.

Now, I’m not going to excuse the mistakes. For one, I don’t know what they are. Is BATFE being picky here, or are they serious problems? Without knowing specifics, I just can’t comment on that aspect at all except to say that the error rate seems high but nothing more.

However, I challenge the folks at Giffords to name three other industries where a clerical error on less than three percent of your paperwork can cause someone to lose a federal license. Name three other industries where paperwork mistakes can potentially land you in prison?

I’ll name one for them: Pharmaceuticals. The drug industry is the only one I know of with this level of meticulous requirements or else you lose everything.

To say that gun stores aren’t regulated is beyond ridiculous. Every FFL I know lives in a state of near-constant paranoia of screwing up their paperwork and having the full weight of BATFE slam down upon their tiny person. Others who have considered going into the industry don’t because of that fear.

How much more regulating do FFLs require in the anti-gun zealot’s mind? What else do they expect? What’s the endgame here?

The only conclusion is that they want the regulations to be so onerous that no one will operate a gun store. After all, it doesn’t matter if you have a right to keep and bear arms if you can’t find a place to purchase those arms, right? That’s what it’s all about. They want to drive gun stores out of business so that they don’t have to worry about the Second Amendment anymore.

And they’re not nearly as sneaky about it as they like to think.