FFLGuard announced today that Guns and Ammo, a firearms retailer from Moss Point, Mississippi, was issued a new Federal Firearms License (“FFL”) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”). The issuance of this FFL follows a Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) report that investigated ATF’s previous revocation of Guns and Ammo’s original FFL. This OIG report, titled Review of ATF’s Action in Revoking the Federal Firearms License of Guns and Ammo was highly critical of ATF’s mishandling of their process and policy regarding the 2010 revocation of the Guns and Ammo FFL.

In January 2010, the owner of retail gun store Guns and Ammo, Ralph Weaver, attended an ATF warning conference where he was notified of compliance inspection violations found in November 2009, and he was given corrective actions by ATF to address these issues. Ten days later, Weaver received a letter from ATF memorializing the warning conference, the violations cited, the corrective action needed, and notation that another ATF inspection would be conducted in one year to check compliance.

Shortly thereafter, the current Director of Industry Operations (“DIO”) from Dallas, TX (who was the acting ATF DIO for Mississippi at the time) inexplicably – and, according to the OIG, improperly – reopened Weaver’s inspection to commence revocation proceedings. The proceedings, while inappropriate, still resulted in a hearing officer’s decision that the Guns and Ammo FFL should not be revoked, and that decision was justified by ATF’s own policy (its “Administrative Action Order”), which indicated that the Guns & Ammo infractions cited from the 2009 compliance inspection did not warrant revocation. In the face of this, ATF proceeded to revoke the Guns and Ammo license anyway.

“We are happy that Guns and Ammo again has an FFL following this ordeal, during which the firearms industry experienced unprecedented growth,” offered Chris Chiafullo, National Coordinating Counsel for FFLGuard. “We brought this matter to ATF’s attention repeatedly, prior to [newly appointed ATF] Director Jones’ involvement at ATF… but our objections were ignored. While some of the ATF offenders cited by the OIG have since retired – to ironically take jobs servicing the firearms industry – others remain in positions at ATF that have day-to-day contact with FFLs… and that will be the next issue addressed in this ongoing saga.”

“It is hard to believe that our store went through such great lengths and expense to get another license when even the government agrees that our first FFL should never have been taken,” June Weaver said in a statement. “Over two years is a long time to be out of business and we are thankful to FFLGuard, our Senator [Cochrane], and the OIG for their involvement here.”

“What is particularly disturbing is that it took a Department of Justice OIG review to uncover what went wrong internally at ATF, resulting in an unconscionable loss of income at Guns and Ammo,” stated Scott Braum, FFLGuard’s Director of Field Operations, whose intimate involvement with the case helped bring about resolution. Braum concluded: “At least the OIG has identified what actors are personally responsible here for these losses so that there can be appropriate recourse… if nothing else, Guns and Ammo is back in business.”

The examination of ATF’s actions of ATF leading up to the revocation of Guns and Ammo’s initial FFL is outlined in the OIG report found at http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2013/e1308.pdf.

Logo courtesy FFLGuard

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