It looks like the Biden administration is using the ATF to crack down on access to guns at an unprecedented rate.
New data reveals that during this fiscal year The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked the license of 122 gun dealers. That’s a sharp increase from recent years. Last year, 90 licenses were revoked. The year before that, the number was just 27.
ATF director Steve Dettelbach said last year the bureau is taking steps to hold rogue gun dealers accountable for “willful violations.” But many dealers say their licenses were taken away for what amounts to paperwork errors.
Some are bringing lawsuits. In one recently filed suit, a North Dakota store slammed the Biden administration for using the ATF as a “political weapon.”
Some retired bureau veterans say the new system is far harsher than the old one that tended to issue warnings over revoking licenses.
And there could be blowback as the ATF often relies on gun dealers to track down criminals. One former ATF official described the new practices as “beating an ally into submission.”