NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

BATF To Crackdown On Suspect Gun Dealers

February 4, 2000

In what it calls its most aggressive campaign in its 30-year history, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is going after corrupt gun dealers who make firearms available to criminals and juveniles.

  • The bureau claims that just 1.2 percent of federally-licensed firearms dealers -- numbering 1,020 -- originally sold 57 percent of the weapons used in crimes.
  • The suspect dealers will be subjected to intensified inspections and some of them will be required to start providing records for the first time of sales of used guns -- not just new weapons.
  • Dealers who claim that many of their guns were stolen or disappeared will be required to account for sales in a fuller and more prompt manner.
  • Licenses of the 31 percent of dealers who say they have not sold any guns in the past year -- a possible indication that they are actually selling to illegal gun traffickers for a higher price -- could be revoked.

The bureau will also provide a list, to any manufacturer who asks for it, of that company's guns that have been traced to a crime in the previous year -- along with the name of the dealer who sold the gun.

A spokesman for the National Rifle Association dismissed the announcement as a publicity stunt that would do nothing to reduce violent crime.

Source: Fox Butterfield, "Firearms Agency Intensifies Scrutiny of Suspect Dealers," New York Times, February 4, 2000.


Browse more articles on Government Issues