Hundreds of gun dealers have purportedly lost their licenses as a result of a Biden administration crackdown, sparking anger and the belief that they are being targeted.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked the licenses of 122 gun dealers during the last fiscal year, which began in October, up from 90 the year before and 27 in 2021, as Fox News reported.
During the administrations of Trump and Obama, the number of licenses revoked never exceeded 81.
Some in the firearms industry are complaining that they are being unfairly targeted for political purposes due to paperwork errors as part of President Biden's initiative to combat gun violence.
The Wall Street Journal Report
"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 the Wall Street Journal. "This policy is designed to be a backdoor violation of the Second Amendment."
Navarro stated that he received warnings for documentation errors made by gun purchasers, but they were not prohibited from purchasing firearms.
Others have noted that gun dealers are typically staunch allies of the federal government in terms of providing tips on suspicious gun purchasers, and that the crackdown could harm the working relationship.
From Gun Advocates
"The gun dealers were our first line of defense against gun trafficking," Peter Forcelli, a retired deputy assistant director, told the WSJ.
"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."