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The Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has ramped up efforts to crack down on gun dealers this fiscal year, in a move that critics are now claiming is a backdoor violation of the second amendment.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, that “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has revoked the licenses of 122 gun dealers in the fiscal year that began in October, up from 90 for all last fiscal year and 27 in 2021.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “the Trump and Obama administrations never revoked more than 81 dealers’ licenses annually since at least 2013, the earliest year for which data are available.”
In 2021, the Biden administration rolled out a new “zero tolerance” policy for firearms dealers. The guidance stated that the agency “has zero tolerance for willful violations that greatly affect public safety and ATF’s ability to trace firearms recovered in violent crimes,” according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital. The guidance also notes that when violations are found, “revocation” of licenses “is the assumed action.”
“We’ve taken steps to hold accountable those few dealers who are engaging in these willful violations,” said ATF Director Steve Dettelbach. “They’re not going to have the privilege of being a gun dealer anymore.”
Anthony Navarro, who had his license taken away last year, told the Wall Street Journal “We were making $1 million a year, now it’s less than $100,000″, adding that “This policy is designed to be a backdoor violation of the Second Amendment.” Navarro currently sells firearm accessories.
In 2020, inspectors found several violations of Navarro’s business, including failing to report multiple sales of handguns and failing to keep records of some transactions. Officials noted that they had warned Navarro to clean up his act on multiple occasions. Navarro said that he only discovered the violations after one of his employees quit, after hiding forms from the company. Navarro claimed that he reported the problems to the AFT as soon as he found them. Regardless, his license was suspended in 2022.
Peter Forcelli, a retired deputy assistant director, told the WSJ that firearms dealers are the ATF’s “first line of defense against gun trafficking.”
“Why are we now beating an ally into submission?” Forcelli questioned.
Gun Owners of America filed a lawsuit against the ATF last month, accusing the administration of attempting to “weaponize ATF’s bureaucracy against the entire Second Amendment industry” and said that the new Zero Tolerance policy is “overly harsh—seemingly intentionally so—on honest gun stores”.