Once routine ATF inspections are now a weapon in war on guns

AP Photo/Morry Gash

We know from surveys that bad guys generally aren’t walking into their neighborhood gun store and buying a firearm.

No, they get guns through a variety of means, but rarely from a licensed gun dealer.

That fact hasn’t stopped the Biden administration from trying to crack down on what it describes as “rogue gun dealers.”

This is a quote that isn’t going to alarm most people. After all, we don’t want people going around and breaking the laws regarding the sale of firearms, so sure, cracking down on “rogue” gun stores makes sense.

Yet as Larry Keane writes, that’s not what’s really happening.

So far in 2023, ATF has conducted 6,609 inspections of Federal Firearms Licensees – starting on Oct. 1, which is when the federal government’s fiscal calendar begins. That’s closing in on 2022’s annual total of 7,502 for the entire year. ATF inspectors are conducting an average of 647.33 inspections across the nation per month, topping 2022’s monthly average of 587.66.

At this pace, ATF is expected to complete 8,902 inspections before the end of its fiscal year. That’s a blistering pace. There are more sobering figures though.

Warning Conferences, or results of an inspection that warrant a meeting with ATF’s Industry Operations Inspectors, are at 111 for the first nine months. There were 136 for all of FY 2022. Revocations of federal firearms licenses are already at 122. They were just 92 for FY 2022.

In fiscal year 2020 (ending on Sept. 30), the year President Biden was elected, there were 5,823 ATF inspections of FFL holders. That year, there were just 40 license revocations with 96 FFL holders that went out of business or surrendered their licenses. The ATF inspections in FY 2020 resulted in 306 warning conferences and another 804 warning letters. Warning letters were routinely issued for minor clerical errors in record keeping, like misspelled names, dates recorded incorrectly or other administrative errors.

Weaponizing Inspections

Those have now become grounds for license revocation. NSSF warned the industry that this would happen when President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both campaigned on the idea that they would employ the ATF as a weapon by which they would dismantle the firearm industry and hamper the ability for law-abiding citizens to lawfully-purchase a firearm.

And that’s what this is really about.

The harder it is for you to get a gun, the better for the Biden administration. They don’t want us having guns, and since they can’t get gun control through Congress, the goal is to just hammer gun stores until there’s nowhere for us to buy firearms anymore.

Or, at least, where it’ll be inconvenient as hell for millions of Americans.

In Mexico, there is a constitutional right to own guns. However, the government has made it damn near impossible to lawfully purchase a firearm, with just a single gun store in the country and one has to go through reams of paperwork just to walk in the door.

While I can’t definitively say that’s the goal for Biden, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t mind if that were the case here in the US.

They just can’t mandate it.

The ATF has never been our friend, but under the Biden administration, they have jumped through every hoop–all with a certain amount of glee, it appears–to make selling guns as difficult as possible. The idea seems to be to run millions of gun stores out of business and make it harder for us to exercise our Second Amendment rights.

Biden has weaponized the bureau against lawful gun owners and law-abiding gun stores, using mistakes as grounds to shut them down.

Folks, you can’t go for years and years and not make a paperwork error, yet these are the “rogue gun dealers” Biden demonizes. They’re not selling machine guns out of the back door, they’re transposing a couple of numbers on a piece of paper.

This weaponization of the government against the people has to end.