Kansas FFL Revocations Not Exactly Making Anyone Feel Better

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland are both pretty down on gun ownership as a thing. Working in concert, the two have done as much as they figure they can get away with and probably did a few things that they ultimately won't.


One of the things that they're doing is cracking down on FFL holders. It used to be that a mistake could be easily cleared up without an issue. Now, it can lead to revocation of one's FFL, which creates problems when your business is selling guns.

In Kansas, there's a report about some of the revocations that we should probably take a look at.

Since 2021, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has revoked 250 Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) across the nation. The agency revoked over 30 times more licenses in 2023 than in 2021.

What is an FFL? An FFL is a business or individual who engages in the business of manufacturing, importing and/or dealing firearms, according to the ATF. An FFL licensee has violated the Gun Control Act if they:

  • transfer a firearm to a prohibited person
  • fail to conduct a background check
  • falsify records
  • fail to respond to a trace request
  • refuse to allow the ATF to conduct an inspection

Of the FFL licenses that were revoked, eight were in Kansas. 


Reasons listed for revocations include an alleged flood and subsequent burning of ATF records, failure to conduct a background check, providing a false statement on an ATF record, transferring firearms before background checks were cleared and approving a Concealed Carry Permit prior to a required background check.


Here's the thing, if you look at some of these, you can see what sure look like honest mistakes, though the ATF will make it look as insidious as they can.

For example, let's look at the "failure to conduct a background check" one. That sounds pretty serious. The thing is, the customer showed a Colorado concealed carry permit. The FFL said they didn't realize they couldn't accept an out-of-state permit as a proxy for a background check, which sure seems like something someone could be honestly wrong about.

Another had a series of errors, but the straw that broke the back was that he accepted a Nebraska permit instead of conducting a background check. That seems like kind of the same thing.

Then we have the "transferring firearms before background checks were cleared." That's an interesting case, because of this from the ATF itself:

On 6/7/2020, the licensee conducted a NICS check and received a "delayed' response from NICS. On 6/11/2020, the licensee transferred the firearm. On 7/19/2020, the licensee checked #19 d "no response was provided within 3 business days" and also incorrectly checked the "proceed" box and date of 7/19/2020, as the secondary NICS response. 

Now, there is some discrepancy here because that's most definitely three days. What's more, according to the document, the customer actually came in on 6/6/2020 but did so late, so he didn't start the background check until the next day.


If that's true, then nothing else should matter. Anything beyond that appears to be a paperwork error.

See, none of this is making me feel the least bit better about what the ATF has been doing with FFLs throughout the nation. Again, the ATF has a vested interest in making each infraction sound as bad as humanly possible, but at least two of these were cases of sales made to people with current concealed carry permits. One was hammered for not waiting on a background check that even they admitted there was a three-day difference between the background check and the transfer being completed.

How many others are getting jammed up over good-faith mistakes and losing their livelihood, all so Biden and Garland can make political points?

These are people's lives, but no one in this administration cares. They don't care because these lives have a tendency to vote for the other side, so screw them.

Right, Mr. President?

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