A Biden administration crackdown has reportedly resulted in hundreds of gun dealers losing their licenses which has sparked anger and the belief by the dealers that they are being targeted.
During the last fiscal year that started in October, 122 gun dealers had their licenses revoked by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which is up from 90 the year before and 27 in 2021, Wall Street Journal reported.
During the Trump and Obama presidencies, the number of licenses revoked never exceeded 81.
Some in the gun industry are crying foul and suggesting that they are being unfairly targeted for political reasons over paperwork errors as part of an agenda to combat gun violence which President Biden has vocally pushed.
“We were making $1 million a year, now it’s less than $100,000,” Anthony Navarro, a gun dealer who lost his license last year after receiving three warnings for legal violations since 2009, told Wall Street Journal. “This policy is designed to be a backdoor violation of the Second Amendment.”
Navarro said he was issued warnings over mistakes gun purchasers made on paperwork but that they weren’t prohibited from buying guns.
Others have pointed out that gun dealers are typically strong allies of the federal government in terms of providing tips on suspicious gun buyers and that the working relationship could be harmed by the crackdown.
“The gun dealers were our first line of defense against gun trafficking,” Peter Forcelli, a retired deputy assistant director, told Wall Street Journal. “Why are we now beating an ally into submission?”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the ATF said it is following the law.
“Federal Firearms Licensees are often our first line of defense against gun crime and are often a source of critical enforcement information that helps law enforcement identify straw purchasers and disrupt firearms trafficking schemes,” ATF Spokesperson Kristina Mastropasqua said. “FFLs that willfully violate the law, however, must be held accountable. ATF conducts inspections to ensure compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations and to educate licensees on the specific requirements of those laws and regulations.”