Politics

EXCLUSIVE: House Judiciary Republicans Demands Answers From ATF Over Increase In Federal Firearm License Revocations

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs sent a letter Wednesday to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) demanding answers over the increase in the Department’s effort to revoke Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) from law-abiding business owners throughout the U.S.

In the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, Biggs and 24 House Republicans, including every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, called on Acting Director Gary Restaino to provide them with details surrounding ATF’s FFL revocation policies. The lawmakers say that due to Department of Justice (DOJ) policies the ATF has put in place an “officially sanctioned practice” of basing revocations on minor infractions that were found in previously closed inspections. The minor infractions usually resulted in a warning letter instead of revocations.

According to gun expert Lee Williams, “in the 11 months since Joe Biden declared war on ‘rogue gun dealers,’ the ATF has revoked 273 FFLs — an increase of more than 500%.”

The lawmakers also say that ATF Directors of Industry Operations are being told to move forward with a quota system that they say is putting ATF field divisions in a competition to have a higher number of licenses revoked.

“The Biden Administration’s radical anti-gun agenda is infiltrating the ATF and law-abiding business owners are having their businesses destroyed,” Biggs told the Daily Caller before sending the letter.

“Under this Administration, the number of FFL revocation proceedings initiated by ATF has skyrocketed and are often based on minor infractions,” he added.

Here Are The Questions The Lawmakers Ask In The Letter: 

  • Is there an official or unofficial competition among ATF field divisions related to FFL revocations?
  • Has the DOJ or ATF established quotas related to FFL revocations or any other metric related to FFL revocations?
  • How many FFLs were revoked by ATF from 2009-2016?
  • How many FFLs were revoked by ATF from 2017-2020?
  • How many FFLs were revoked by ATF from 2021-present?
  • How many FFLs is ATF in the process of revoking?
  • Please provide all email communications from DOJ or ATF leadership to field division leadership regarding the revocation of FFLs.
  • Please provide all email communications from ATF field division leadership to field agents regarding the revocation of FFLs.

READ THE LETTER HERE:

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

In March, Biggs and a group of House Republicans slammed the ATF over the denial of applications to develop firearm silencers due to a regulatory change. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Answers On Rights Of Americans To Build Silencers)

Under current law, Americans may file a form with ATF and pay a $200 filing fee before they are approved to build their own silencers. Those applications are generally accepted. However, the Bureau recently rejected more than 800 applications to build silencers due to a change in their policy which treats designer kits as the devices themselves. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Marjorie Taylor Greene To Introduce Legislation That Would Abolish The ATF)

Already developed silencers must be sold by licensed dealers, who must fill out separate forms and pay an extra tax.

In June 2021, Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced legislation that would abolish ATF if signed into law.

The Daily Caller contacted the ATF about Biggs’ letter to which they said they will respond to Biggs and are “unable to comment on the specifics of this letter.”