GOA Files Suit Over ATF’s Michigan Public Safety Advisory

ATF Rescinds Michigan CPL Exemption
ATF Rescinds Michigan CPL Exemption

Detroit, MI-(Ammoland.com)-Gun Owners of America (GOA) has filed a suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Northern Division against the Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo.

Donald Roberts, II, and GOA are seeking a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from the mandates laid out in the ATF’s Michigan Public Safety Advisory of March 3rd, 2020. (Michigan PSA). On that day, the ATF’s PSA informed FFLs within Michigan that they have to run all gun buyers through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

This ruling runs contrary to the ATF’s previous position that an FFL can accept a concealed carry permit if that permit requires a NICS check to be issued. Before the March 3rd advisory, Michigan residents were exempt from the FBI background check if they held an unexpired concealed pistol license (CPL). The ATF reasons that Sheriffs might not run gun owners through NICS when issuing CPLs. Michigan law requires Sheriffs to use NICS before signing off on any CPL.

On March 7th, Roberts visited H&H Fireworks, Guns, and Sporting Goods in Houghton Lake to purchase a shotgun. Upon presenting his unexpired CPL, the store informed him because of the new PSA; they would have to run his information through NICS. He refused to submit to the background check and left without the shotgun.

Michigan has run all CPL holders through NICS since 2005. In 2006 Former Attorney General of Michigan, Mike Cox, contacted the ATF to verify that the Michigan CPL was in line with ATF regulations. The ATF confirmed that Michigan FFLs could use the CPL as a substitute for running their customers through NICS.

The ATF’s open letter from 2006 reads: “Michigan’s Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPLs) issued on or after November 22, 2005 will qualify as an alternative to a [NICS] check.”

The new PSA acknowledges that Michigan’s CPL still meets the requirements for an exemption to NICS but still insist that FFLs run background checks on every customer regardless if they have a CPL or not.

The new PSA reads: “in spite of this specific statutory requirement, ATF recently received information … that Michigan CPLs have been, and continue to be issued to certain applicants without a determination by Michigan officials as to whether the applicant is prohibited under federal law from possessing or transporting firearms.”

Gun Owners of America states that the ATF’s PSA would irreparably harm its members if the court does not grant the injunction. GOA further argues that the ATF doesn’t have the legal authority to disqualify Michigan’s CPL from being used in place of a federal background check.

“This is another unnecessary move by the ATF. Forcing background checks on individuals who have already been screened by the government is a poor use of time and resources, and always presents the danger of registering gun owners’ firearms purchases,” said Erich Pratt Senior Vice President of GOA. “Gun Owners of America believes the Second Amendment prevents Federal and state governments from implementing prior restraints upon the right to keep and bear arms. The ATF’s recent policy reversal in Michigan is clearly a step in the wrong direction.”

Michigan isn’t the only state facing new ATF PSAs that requires the use of the FBI’s background check even when the states conceal permits meets the requirements for an exemption. The ATF has also sent out similar PSAs to Alabama and Minnesota.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.

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Will Flatt

While GOA is kicking antigun butt all across America, crickets are chirping in Fairfax VA!

Will Flatt

And choose the recurring monthly payment option, so they stay funded constantly!


Chose the 10 payment Life member option. Paid quarterly for first year. Did not receive 1Q2020 invoice. Went onto their web site; use CONTACT link to inquire about invoice…. crickets. Called headquarters; spoke to receptionist. No interest/effort/action…..crickets. Guess they don’t want my money. Wonder how many others are experiencing these crickets???

Will Flatt

Not at all been my experience. Though to be fair GOA runs a very lean operation with few employees. However, you’ll get that exact treatment from NRA if you start asking pointed questions about their leadership and how member dues are spent!!


This is what happens when one needs a permission slip, master decides to tighten the rules any time master wants. We MUST start calling these permission slips, – the word permits does not adequate describe what is going on here. Permit sounds relatively harmless – permission slip = who has to get one of those unless they are a child……or a slave?


If we really want to be honest…we have to admit…we are a NATION of ARMED SLAVES. We are forced to give up our labor for property taxes on the local level. We are forced to give up income taxes on the national level. We are forced to use fake fiat currency for our every day transactions including fake computer entries. We are forced to have driver permission slips to travel on the roads. We are forced to buy toilets that are mandated by the government for our homes. We are forced to buy permission slips to build, remodel, or add… Read more »


As long as institutions like the ATF are open for business, they will have to find evermore increasingly difficult ways to justify their existence. And since they can’t go up, as that would run counter to everything they stand for, they have no other choice but to take you down with them. Let’s call it a rabbit hole, where down is up and up down. Welcome to the lair.

Ryben Flynn

The REAL reason is because Michigan legalized marijuana which makes a user a prohibited person. Why didn’t the article mention that fact? Because Michigan will still issue a CPL to a marijuana use because it does not disqualify them under Michigan Law.


Even better. Go after BATF for denial of rights under colour of unconstitutional law. NOWHERE in that document can anyone find any trace of “authority” to enable FedGov to control or limit what anyone does or does not put into their body. End of story. Marijuana is NOT< per its own defintioni, a "Schedule One" substance. It should be delisted. That is the only way to end this particular flavour of tyranny.


And make that choice GOA!