The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 1, 2010, 11:15 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,719
WaPo Does Pro-ATF, Anti-NRA "News" Article

Shocking, I know. You can find the article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102505823.html should you want to read it.

I just wanted to address one of the points the article raised and point out how faulty the logic behind it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaPo
The agency still has about the same number of agents it had nearly four decades ago: 2,500. The firearms bureau inspects only a fraction of the nation's 60,000 retail gun dealers, taking as much as eight years between visits to stores.
That sounds shocking right? Only 2,500 agents for 60,000 FFLs? No change in number of agents in almost 40 years? Except let's look at what the ATF itself says:

In 1994, there were 284,000 FFLs being serviced by those same 2,500 agents (assuming the reporting is accurate.)
In 2007, the number of FFLs has declined to 109,000 (a decline of greater than 50%) - still being serviced by those same 2,500 agents.
Now in 2010, according to this article, there are only 60,000 gun businesses - another massive decline of licensees in only three years, yet the ATF still has 2,500 agents to regulate these businesses.

There is a story here all right; but it isn't the one the Washington Post is trying to tell. How is it that the agency had 2,500 agents in 1994 - with a pro-gun control Congress and pro-gun control President in charge and was supervising 284,000 licensees with no complaints from the Administration - yet that same agency is now supervising less than 25% of that number today; but still has the same number of agents?
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old November 1, 2010, 11:26 AM   #2
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,698
Excellent counter-point.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old November 1, 2010, 11:30 AM   #3
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,213
Agreed. That is an excellent point.
Spats McGee is offline  
Old November 1, 2010, 11:52 AM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,719
The story raises another good point as well, what is happening so that since 1994, the number of FFLs has declined so dramatically?

Some of the story we already know. For example, anybody who was around during the Clinton years remembers the purge on "kitchen table" gun dealers who were basically collectors and enthusiasts who obtained an FFL (voluntarily licensing themselves and submitting themselves to many requirements they didn't have to meet in order to be able to buy wholesale from distributors).

But how is it that with 2008-2009 being a banner-sales year for gun dealers, there was an overall decline of almost 40,000 licensees during that time? Assuming of course the reporting is accurate, which is always a big assumption to make when it comes to the media and guns.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old November 1, 2010, 02:02 PM   #5
dogtown tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 1,559
Quote:
Bartholomew Roberts The story raises another good point as well, what is happening so that since 1994, the number of FFLs has declined so dramatically?

Some of the story we already know. For example, anybody who was around during the Clinton years remembers the purge on "kitchen table" gun dealers who were basically collectors and enthusiasts who obtained an FFL (voluntarily licensing themselves and submitting themselves to many requirements they didn't have to meet in order to be able to buy wholesale from distributors). ...
I think you answered it yourself. Many of those "kitchen table" dealers were not engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, but engaged in the HOBBY of collecting and acquiring guns for personal use. Those "dealers" purged themselves.

ATF is completely cool with the idea of home based FFL's AS LONG AS they are actually engaged in the business of dealing in firearms.
__________________
Need a FFL in north Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me.

$20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)
dogtown tom is offline  
Old November 2, 2010, 07:09 AM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 5,719
Quote:
ATF is completely cool with the idea of home based FFL's AS LONG AS they are actually engaged in the business of dealing in firearms.
Actually, this predates my awareness of RKBA issues so maybe my understanding is wrong, but my understanding is that the 1968 GCA originally encouraged hobbyists to get FFLs (thus the Curio & Relics FFL). The theory was that more "good guys" with FFLs would make it easier to track and control the sale of firearms.

Sometime around the Clinton Administration, that changed to "too many FFLs we must run them all out of business!" And now, ironically, the media complains about the same hobbyists who used to be licensed FFLs selling the occasional firearm as "unlicensed" private sellers and demands they be forced to conduct the same background checks they would be required to do by law if they had been allowed to keep their FFLs.

In any case, I think we should all be a little concerned about the most recent drop. From 2007 to 2010, the number of FFLs dropped from 109,000 to 61,634 - almost 1/3 of all the remaining FFLs went out of business - and that is during 2008 and 2009 - two of the biggest years for gun and ammo sales in recent memory.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Old November 2, 2010, 08:11 AM   #7
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 1,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom
ATF is completely cool with the idea of home based FFL's AS LONG AS they are actually engaged in the business of dealing in firearms.
Administratively, that is not what I saw in the 90s.

BATF delayed renewing licenses without cause. You are dealing with a population, FFLs, who have resigned themselves to immense and intrusive regulation, and are generally very co-operative with the imposing authority of the BATF. Lots of these people took the hint and either didn't renew, or had their modest business dry up when they couldn't transact any new purchases for several months because the bureau just wouldn't send their renewed license out.

I know a few who became verbally confrontational and shortly thereafter had their renewed licenses sent out.
zukiphile is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06966 seconds with 9 queries