ltc444 Technical violations are easier to enforce and less dangerous than going after real violations.
The DEA has a higher confiscation rate than does the BATF.
The technical citations inflate their statistics and is used to justify their budget.
Of course, the "technical violations" that an IOI will cite are faaaar different than "real violations" (what an ATF Enforcement Agent will be involved in)
IOI's are beancounters and don't carry guns. If ATF uses them to justify their budget then they aren't doing a very good job of it:
ATF rarely revokes an FFL for minor violations.
ATF rarely refuses to renew an FFL for minor violations.
I've yet to read an ATF press release that informs me "Walmart #3456 cited for missing 4473's!!!!".....so your belief that they use these to increase their statistics just doesn't hold water.
What they do love to crow about is their criminal investigators (completely different job than the IOI's that gun dealers see)
ATF regularly sends me emails that are about their arson investigations, illegal gun trafficking, and other criminal investigations. Of course very little about their own gun walking problems.