Zero Tolerance Policy Update—Biden’s Efforts Targeting Rogue Gun Dealers

Mark Campanale Members Only


by Fran Bishop, NPA Government Relations Liaison

Recently, NPA Industry Partner National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF) conducted the above-entitled webinar, which I attended. The following information I’m sharing is from my notes. I hope you receive this information in the spirit intended and it benefits you and your business.  Keeping abreast of all regulations should be a requirement for your compliance program. 

In previous years the average number of licenses revoked annually nationwide was around 40. Thus far in 2022, there have been 20 revocations already.  

Why This Is Important To Pawnbrokers

If you are a FFL as I was for 30 years, you have heard the term willful used by ATF agents. Whether during an exit conference following an audit or at an ATF seminar, it is a chilling word that can adversely affect your business. 

The current administration’s policy is to establish zero tolerance for rogue gun dealers that WILLFULLY violate the law. If an FFL has any violations deemed willful, their license is in jeopardy. 

Negligence—failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances, can be Willfulness. 

Who is at risk? 

  • FFLs facing an adverse action 
  • Warning conference 
  • Warning letter 
  • Report of violations 

So, what are ATF’s inspection priorities? 

  • New FFLs 
  • Time between the sale of a firearm and its use in a crime (within 3 years or less) 
  • Number of firearms recoveries associated with firearm related crimes 
  • FFLs with reported numbers of thefts and losses…this will also trigger an inspection 
  • Number of denials 
  • Information from local law enforcement 

What should you do? 

  • Correct any violations causing an adverse action 
  • Make sure any violations are not reoccurring 
  • Conduct internal audits/inventories at least quarterly 
  • Identify errors before transferring a firearm 
  • Be diligent—do multiple reviews of 4473s before filing away 
  • Straw purchase prevention training of all employees 
  • If you find a violation—act now! 
  • Do not be an absentee owner! 

What should you do during an inspection? 

  • Maintain a good attitude. 
  • Listen! 
  • Take notes of any keywords and phrases agents use. 
  • Get ahead of any problems before the closing conference. 

I hope you receive this information in the spirit intended and it benefits you and your business.   

Fran Bishop
NPA Government Relations Liaison