Hillary Clinton wants to revoke the licenses of non-compliant gun dealers.
Gun dealers worry this means they could be shut down for clerical errors on required paperwork.
In response to a questionnaire given to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Hillary Clinton referenced a Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearm statistic that says many gun dealers do not follow federal gun laws but few have their licenses revoked.
“New York has no control over another state’s gun laws, so it has to depend on the federal government to enforce federal firearms laws against irresponsible gun dealers across the country. It’s important to note that the vast majority of gun owners and gun dealers are responsible,” Clinton stated.
“But a few bad actors are responsible for supplying the vast majority guns used in crimes — and we need to shut them down,” Clinton continued. “Indeed, nearly 90 percent of guns recovered on crime scenes in America come from just 5 percent of gun dealers in America. We know who these bad actors are. But we rarely revoke a gun dealer’s license, even if they break the law.”
She added, “According to recent statistics, the ATF found that about one in three gun dealers were not compliant with federal gun laws. Yet, less than 1 percent of these stores had their licenses revoked. We need federal action on guns, and shutting down the major suppliers of illegal guns will be one of my priorities as president.”
The Washington Times reported in 2014 that the number of ATF field inspections doubled since 2005 and the number of violations discovered during the Obama administration spiked 30 percent. However, the rise in the number of violations did not equal a rise in the gravity of the violations.
According to ATF inspection results between 2012 and 2104, the most common reason for “failing federal firearms licensees” committing a violation in 2013 was for incorrectly filling out Form 4473, the over-the counter firearms transaction record.
The form, which includes a firearm’s manufacturer or importer, model, serial number, kind of firearm, caliber or gauge, date received, date of sale, the reference number, where the buyer lives, if the buyer is an illegal alien, or whether the purchaser ever committed a felony.
“One issue we see often is that the same mistake on a form repeated each time, like ‘Y’ instead of ‘Yes’ or an abbreviation of a county, gets misrepresented as ‘hundreds of violations’ by anti-gun interest groups. ATF says they have to note each one of the violations. So the ‘number of violations’ a dealer might have can be very misleading,” Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane told a Washington Post reader in 2010.
Specific blank items on the multi-page questionnaire must be filled out and answering incorrectly is an ATF violation. One violation can result in a license revocation.
Violations concerning paperwork, which included wrong dates and not recording incoming shipments at a certain time, were the next four common mistakes licensed dealers made. Ultimately, selling a firearm to an individual who should not have been sold one ranked No. 10 on the 10-item list.
The Washington Times noted that half of the gun retailers who go through ATF audits end up with violations that could result in warning letters threatening revocation of their licenses.
“We take our responsibility for licensing persons engaged in manufacturing, importing and dealing in firearms, and ensuring those who are licensed to engage in those businesses do so in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, very seriously,” said Elizabeth Gosselin, a spokeswoman at ATF told The Times. “It is critical that [gun dealers] comply with the Gun Control Act and its implementing regulations first and foremost to ensure public safety, and second to assist law enforcement efforts and prevent the diversion of firearms from lawful commerce to the illegal market.”