Congressional flaws keep bad gun dealers in business
Congress allows relicensing of gun dealers that are a threat to the public. This is because Congress is corrupted by the gun lobby and because Congress is incompetent resulting from bad choices by We the People.
“Gun dealers often stay in business with new licenses after ATF shuts them down
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 14, 2010; 12:27 AM
About a hundred times a year, regulators strip gun dealers of their licenses for violations of federal law, an extreme step taken only when repeated infractions are deemed a threat to public safety.
But a year-long Washington Post investigation documented about 60 cases since 2003 in which the businesses stayed open, often re-licensed through relatives, employees, associates or newly formed companies.
"We'll just have to play musical licenses," the owner of the Highland Gun Barn in Michigan said when a federal inspector served him with a final notice to surrender his license.
A California sports shop had its license revoked after inspectors from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the 87-year-old owner's repeated violations of gun laws showed she was unable to run a gun business. Before she forfeited her license, the woman's son obtained a permit to sell guns at the same shop. He said he would be at the shop two days a week and that his mother would "exclusively direct all day-to-day business."
A Maryland gun store that ATF said lost track of weapons and failed to do background checks was forced to surrender its license after the owner lost a court battle. Six months later, ATF issued the dealer's wife a license at his old shop in Fallston, Md.
A Georgia gun dealer had its license revoked after ATF said it could not account for hundreds of guns. The dealer's daughter and son-in-law secured their own license to keep the business going.
It is all legal.
"This is the way Congress wrote the law," said James Zammillo, who was with ATF for four decades and served as deputy assistant director of industry operations before retiring this year. "The spirit of the law is that unless the applicant is prohibited, you have to issue a license. There is no discretion."”