By: José Niño

An ATF industry operations inspector (IOI) based in Florida confiscated a federal firearms licensee’s (FFL) completed ATF Form 4473s and bound book. He proceeded to take these documents out of the store and make copies of them in clear violation of federal law. The IOI ended up returning the documents a week after.

Towards the end of August, Kiloton Tactical teamed up with a group of FFLs headed by Eric Blandford of the Iraqveteran8888 YouTube channel in an effort to sue the ATF over the Biden regime’s zero-tolerance policy directed against FFLs. The lawsuit is mostly focused on the IOI’s illegal actions.

According to federal laws on the books, FFLs must keep records such as a bound book and copies of ATF Form 4473. Kiloton Tactical kept copies of these documents. When an IOI is conducting an inspection, he can review records for policy violations but does not have the power to inspect the documents in an off-site venue. Such actions are prohibited under 27 CFR § 478.23(cd).

The statute stipulated the following: “The inspections and examinations provided by this section do not authorize an ATF officer to seize any records or documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law. If an ATF officer seizes such records or documents, copies shall be provided to the licensee within a reasonable time.”

When the confiscation of the gun store records was carried out, there was no suspected foul play. The IOI stressed that he had the power to take the documents from the store. However, such behavior would go against federal law.

This IOI incident is typical of the ATF under President Joe Biden’s watch, which has pursued a zero-tolerance policy that allegedly targets “rogue gun dealers.” In reality, such policies target smaller firearm stores that simply make small paperwork errors.

Thus far, FFL revocations have increased between 350% and 500%, which has brought the revocation number to a 17-year high.

Organizations such as Gun Owners of America (GOA) have sharply criticized ATF overreach. They recently filed a lawsuit in North Dakota over the ATF’s zero-tolerance policy.

GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt has promised to assist the FFL Coalition’s efforts to hold the ATF accountable.

“The ATF is out of control, and both Congress and the Courts have an obligation to rein them in! GOA fully supports the FFL Coalition’s efforts to halt the weaponization of the ATF, and thus protect honest gun dealers around the country,” Pratt said in correspondence with AmmoLand News. “Left unchecked, Biden’s Zero Tolerance policy will cripple the gun industry and make it virtually impossible for law-abiding Americans to purchase firearms and exercise their rights.”

What’s at stake here is countless firearms businesses’ ability to keep the lights on. By arbitrarily revoking FFLs, the ATF is ruining the livelihoods of countless entrepreneurs and workers, while also depriving prospective gun owners of legal venues to acquire firearms.

This is just one of many ways the gun control crowd will use state power to undermine the Second Amendment. And it’s another reason why weakening the ATF is of the utmost importance.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.