ATF’s Behavior Paints Ominous Picture for Biden’s “Crackdown” on FFLs

New Female Shooter NRA-ILA
According to the president and his ever-obliging attorney general, a “crackdown” is coming on America’s federally licensed gun dealers (FFLs), with “zero tolerance” for allegedly illegal behavior. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- According to the president and his ever-obliging attorney general, a “crackdown” is coming on America’s federally licensed gun dealers (FFLs), with “zero tolerance” for allegedly illegal behavior. While no decent person – least of all the NRA or its members – supports arming dangerous criminals, a recent case from Texas provides disturbing hints as to what this policy might look like in practice.

Biden announced the new effort last week while finally acknowledging what was already obvious to most Americans: violent crime, particularly in America’s cities, is on the rise.

It came as no surprise, however, that Biden was unwilling to admit the culpability of his own party’s disastrous “defund the police” initiatives, as well as a host of “progressive” criminal justice “reforms” that had the effect of curtailing enforcement and allowing dangerous offenders to roam the streets.

Instead, the administration continued its long string of blood libel by falsely blaming the NRA, America’s law-abiding gun owners, and the industries that serve them for the violence decimating many of the nation’s most vulnerable communities.

Attorney General Merrick Garland disclaimed any intention to intensify efforts to punish those actually pulling the triggers. “[A]rrests and convictions,” he indicated, are not “ends in themselves.”

Rather, the administration’s efforts will focus on supply-side measures to broadly curtail access to firearms, even those – like braced, large-framed pistols and semiautomatic rifles – rarely implicated in the crimes the administration is supposedly trying to prevent.

The Texas case concerned Robert and Samuelia Arwady, who held an FFL for their business between 1989 and 2007.

The government charged Robert Arwady for alleged record-keeping violations arising out of a 1996 compliance inspection of his firearms business. He was, however, acquitted on all counts.

The Arwady’s attorney maintains that the couple had a contentious relationship with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) because they refused to cooperate with ATF as informants, including in operations where the ATF allowed criminals to obtain usable firearms.

ATF claimed to find additional record-keeping violations and the apparent disappearance of some 600 firearms during a 2004 compliance inspection, circumstances Arwady blamed on the illicit activities of a police sergeant who was working for the business part-time. The agency brought criminal charges against the employee, who in a plea deal agreed to provide testimony against Mr. Arwady.

Mr. Arwady was eventually able to account for 570 of the supposedly missing firearms, but ATF in 2006 refused to renew his FFL. He filed numerous appeals challenging this decision but eventually decided to close his firearms sales business and transfer his remaining inventory (some 150 guns) to himself for liquidation.

A provision of federal law makes clear that “liquidating a personal collection of firearms” is not indicative of the “principal objective of livelihood and profit” that triggers the need for an FFL in the case of repetitive firearms sales.

Another law, in the section prescribing rules for dealer licensing, states: “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit [an FFL] from maintaining and disposing of a personal collection of firearms, subject only to such restrictions as apply in this chapter to dispositions by a person other than [an FFL].”

In any case, Mr. Arwady arranged these sales through other FFLs. Thus, the firearms were accordingly documented in those FFLs’ books and sold to the ultimate customers with the usual formalities of transfer paperwork and background checks on the perspective buyers.

ATF agents became aware that Mr. Arwady was advertising these sales on the Internet. One undercover agent tried to induce Mr. Arwady to sell him a gun without a background check. Arwady refused. Another tried to get Mr. Arwardy to buy and resell a firearm to him, and Arwady again refused.

In 2009, the ATF obtained a search warrant for various properties belonging to Mr. Arwardy and seized 165 firearms. The government then commenced a civil forfeiture proceeding to seize the firearms, but this action was dismissed in 2012. Notably, a 1986 provision of federal law prohibits mass seizures of firearms in the case of an alleged violation of the Gun Control Act. Instead, “Only those firearms … particularly named and individually identified as involved” in alleged violations of law “shall be subject to seizure, forfeiture, and disposition.”

Nevertheless, the government was not finished with the Arwadys.

In 2014, Mr. Arwady was indicted on eight counts related to firearm sales he conducted after his firearms business closed. The government dismissed six of the counts before trial, and Mr. Arwady was found not guilty of the remaining two counts in 2015.

A court ordered the return of the 165 firearms seized from Mr. Arwady. Over a period of five months, the government managed to produce 160 of them, but many were damaged, missing parts or accessories, or had been removed from the original manufacturer’s packaging in which they were taken.

Over the ensuing years, the Arwardys brought civil claims against the government for the damages and mistreatment they had suffered, pursuing the matter all the way to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, with assistance from the NRA’s Civil Rights Defense Fund.

Early in June, the Fifth Circuit disallowed the last of those claims on various technical grounds.

The Arwardys’ saga shows how even those FFLs who are never found in violation of any provision of criminal law can still be pursued, harassed, intimidated, and dispossessed of lawful property through a variety of means. It also shows that even after they are vindicated in court against false charges, the opportunities for meaningful recompense are extremely limited.

Not only is the Biden administration promising to crack down on those engaged in firearms sales, but it’s also attempting to place one of Michael Bloomberg’s hand-picked gun control operatives in charge of the agency that oversees the nation’s FFLs.

The whole point of having federally licensed firearms sales is to ensure Second Amendment protected commerce is conducted in a way that is safe, transparent, and consistent.

The distrust the Biden administration seems determined to sow between America’s FFLs and the ATF, however, can only undermine what could otherwise be a partnership that benefits both public safety and fundamental constitutional rights.


About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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doug
doug
3 months ago

Its time

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
3 months ago

When I read crap like this I think to myself…what would the Founding Fathers have done if these were the kings men? Hint, hint, hint…

Arizona
Arizona
3 months ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

They went hot over a three pence tax on tea… pretty sure we know they already would have, again, by now.

Rogue
Rogue
3 months ago

This is a perfect example of what the Founders feared, a tyrannical government completely out of control and oppresing and harrasing its citizens. It destroys people by financially bludgeoning them into ruination.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago

Right there at the end. “The whole point of having federally licensed firearms sales is to ensure 2nd Amendment protected commerce is conducted in a way that is safe, transparent and consistent”. I have tried to muddle through that statement and find it’s logical meaning, but there apparently is none. Its just NRA foisting the reqired FFL’s on us, from the 1968 GCA, wasn’t it? Thanks again NRA, but I am sick of your horseshit. I have nothing personal against FFLs, other than their middleman position, taxing me, taking their cut of every gun I buy. FFLs need to go… Read more »

Don
Don
3 months ago

Bad mouthing gun dealers is a bad thing.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
3 months ago
Reply to  Don

Why?

Stag
Stag
3 months ago
Reply to  Don

Being a butter/Fudd is worse.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago

Resident Joe Biden is full of shit; this is nothing more than harassment.

Tionico
Tionico
3 months ago

ATF as “Guido’s Boiz”. What fun. Another case I rememer sprangup out of the Fast and Furioin/Gunwalker debacle, in New Mexico, The Reese, or Reece, family (I think that’s close) were hounded into bankruptcy and financial destruction because they refused to play ball with the district ATF goons and make sketchy transfers to ATF’s operatives….. what Biden’s puppeteers are after is to reduce the number of FFL’s to the point no one can “legally” buy guns or ammo. Well, the criminals and drogquistas have no problem getting them, do they? That same system can be adopted by “the rest of… Read more »

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
3 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

“Too many have seen or read about how things go once that happens.” I seem to be seeing how things are going without that even happening. Remember RUBY RIDGE. Remember WACO. Remember Ken Ballew raid.

JimmyS
JimmyS
3 months ago

As long as there are stupid people who believe bullshit, there will be someone selling them something.

Stop buying it. I’m getting tired of insulting you. Get the fucking message already. It doesn’t matter what edicts the criminals who are collectively called government pass down. What matters is that you are a free being who doesn’t have to follow those edicts. You may have to fight, but you are free. Stop pretending otherwise.

Tionico
Tionico
3 months ago
Reply to  JimmyS

What percentage of “free” Americans obediently wore the mask over the past year? That is the percentage that will continue to blindly silently obey every other government edict. Until we don’t.

KK
KK
3 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

What percentage of “free” NY’ers complied with the NY SAFE Act and registered / disposed of their “assault weapons”?

. . . 4%

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
3 months ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Robert has the right idea…

robertHeinlein-imfree.png
Big George
Big George
3 months ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

HOW were you able to post a photo?! Every time I try (and others), it says that my photo is an ‘unacceptable format’ as a .jpg!?

American Cynic
American Cynic
3 months ago

I have to say, if an FFL is engaged in illegal activity, then the dealer should be put out of business; but the overwhelming majority are upstanding law abiding dealers that follow the rules. This new initiative is going to be a witch hunt, that will allow the ATF to confiscate the records of FFLs and identify gun owners. We won’t know who has privy to that information, or how it will be used. Dare I say… this is not freedom. This is not Democracy. This is becoming tyrannical by any stretch of the imagination. This is a major problem,… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by American Cynic
Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  American Cynic

When the government is involved in illegal activities, how come they get to stay in business?

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago
Reply to  American Cynic

When you say “vast majority” I doubt the average firearm-illiterate citizen reslizes what you mean. I doubt there are even 50 “crooked” FFL holders like Creepy Joe is talking about in the entire United States. I picked “50” because that would be throretically ONE in every state. Every firearm commercially manufactured or legally imported into the US is documented, tracked, and accountec for, up to the point an FFL holder handd it over to the end (nominally legitimate user (purchaser). How many FFLs do you really think are trying to circumvent that system? That being said, I am all for… Read more »

swmft
swmft
3 months ago

closer and closer to a shooting war, and nra helped create it by not stopping 1934 gun control act and shepherding 1968 act rather than fighting it hope you all have the knowledge to convert to full auto

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago
Reply to  swmft

Hell, all it takes is a piece of duct tape and a toothbrush, and you can make any pump shotgun fully automatic.

Don
Don
3 months ago
Reply to  swmft

Who needs to convert a rifle to full auto. All it does is waste ammo. If you can’t do the job with an AR, having full auto won’t do you any good.

Stag
Stag
3 months ago
Reply to  Don

You fudds always want everyone else to justify their “need” for exercising a right.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Stag

Don is a retired enforcer.

He has stated people should follow all laws.

He has stated people should follow all future laws to register semi-automatic rifles.

He refused to answer whether people should folllow all laws to turn-in semi-automatic rifles if they are banned.

I don’t know what is thoughts are about whether certain classes of people should obey laws to follow the instructions of enforcers to get into boxcars.

That goes well beyond the definition of a fudd, but your right – he’s a fudd as well.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Stag

Reply on hold. Funny.

mtman2
mtman2
3 months ago
Reply to  Don

This is very true…tho 12 or 10 gauge with 00 can cover the barn door in one blast etc etc…

mtman2
mtman2
3 months ago
Reply to  swmft

hah… never trusted the all talk NRA (and that was 50/50)…
SAF actually fights and wins via Alan Gottlieb…

Henry Bowman
Henry Bowman
3 months ago

Coming from the do-nothing NRA (Negotiating Rights Away), this press release is a JOKE.

Joe should arrest himself. Same with the BATF. We need to “crack down” on all violators of the Constitution!

gregs
gregs
3 months ago

one government agent helping a government agency take away personal property and a business from a citizen. who would have thought that?

AZ Lefty
AZ Lefty
3 months ago

So the NRA is making up excuses to defend the Criminal FFL’s who break the law – Nice they Truly are Wayne and his Cabals organization

Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
3 months ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

Where in this story did you find that the former FFL is a criminal?

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

“The criminal FFL’s”… you go find me one. You truly are dumb as a bucket of rocks.

nod
nod
3 months ago

And they (the government) wonder why people circumvent the system. The government is its own worst enemy as usual.

Montana454Casull
Montana454Casull
3 months ago

When clownshow Joe Biden and the idiots at the BATF find all the guns from Fast and Furious and take responsibility for all the crimes committed with those weapons then they will have credibility, until then they are bigger criminals than anyone they are investigating or harassing. Time the American people clean house at the BATF and send these clowns packing . Time for these alphabet soup agencies to be held accountable by the American people and people charged and prosecuted for thier violation of the constitution and laws pertaining to illegal Gun Walking .

mtman2
mtman2
3 months ago

They’re an unelected and unConstitutional escape for Congress to remain unaccountable for what damage “their attack dogs do”…

Jaque
Jaque
3 months ago

Another in a long line of proud Americans turned into future revolutionaries. Between Obama and Biden they have added millions to ranks of those who would quickly join the fight against any regime that rules by tyranny. Its clear that the way US firearms laws are written they are designed to entrap violators and not help guide compliance.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
3 months ago

a “crackdown” is coming on America’s federally licensed gun dealers (FFLs),with “zero tolerance” for allegedly illegal behavior.
What do we do about the REAL illegal behavior of the Government?

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

Unintended Consequences.

Big George
Big George
3 months ago

I’m reading it now…scary stuff.


CourageousLion
CourageousLion
3 months ago
Reply to  Big George

That book and some of the ideas in it, has the powers that wish they be peeing their pink undies.