Were the AZ gun stores compelled to make these straw purchase sales under the threat of FFL license revocation?
It's unclear at this point. Andre Howard (from Lone Wolf) claims to have kept records of his conversations with the ATF and a representative from the US Attorney's office, so we'll see if he makes those public.
Awhile ago in this thread, I mentioned that I'd been informally asked by an ATF agent to do the same thing in case of a straw purchse: let it go through and then call them. I'm on good terms with them, and I wanted to keep it that way, so I said I'd consider it and left it at that.
I'm not going to comply with that request, however, because it is breaking the law
on my part. I somehow suspect that he'd "forget" our little conversation if I did comply and the heat came down.
Now, were these dealers under pressure? Perhaps. "Well Bill, it's already been a year since we last audited your records. You know, we can make these things drag on for weeks
if we want. Whaddaya say we go easy on you if you help us?" A dealer could be influenced in that manner, but that's just speculation.