ATF continues to shut down ********** gun stores


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PinnedAndRecessed
August 14, 2006, 12:41 PM
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/12586206p-13294617c.html

Two Merced gun store owners are losing their licenses to sell firearms after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms determined there were problems with paperwork required for gun sales.
One store, Gunrunners, will remain open under a new name and ownership. The other, Stone's Gun Shop, closed last week.

Nina Delgadillo, a spokeswoman for the ATF's San Francisco office, said both stores had repeated paperwork violations that led to the loss of the owners' licenses.

Gunrunners owner Gerry Mitchell said the problem was over paperwork customers fill out when they buy guns.

On two visits, he said, ATF officials determined that customers filled out paperwork incorrectly. Examples included a customer who filled in the wrong county where he lived, or a customer who filled in the country he lived in rather than a county.

Roy Stone, owner of Stone's Gun Shop, said poor record-keeping by a former employee was responsible for similar problems in his store.

Stone said ATF officials pointed out that his name, not his employee's, was on the firearms sales license.

"I'm like anyone; I don't like being accused of doing something immoral when I know I haven't done anything like that," Stone said.

Delgadillo said Thursday that she couldn't comment on the two stores' situations in detail because their license revocations were pending.

Stone's license was revoked Friday, she said, and Mitchell's will be revoked Oct.2. Mitchell said he will sell the store to his wife, who has applied for a federal firearms license.

Audits conducted annually

Delgadillo said the audits are done once a year without notice, though a 2004 Inspector General's report noted that AFT inspects less than 5 percent of licensed dealers each year.

Stone said his store's second audit was in January 2005, and Mitchell said his second audit was more than two years ago.

Both men said they were turned down at an appeal hearing with ATF officials. Mitchell's revocation date was pushed back because of an error in notifying him, he said.

"It's been a real big surprise," said Mitchell, 45. "But it sounds like an inevitable thing."

He said the revocations have more to do with gun control than problems with his business, because it's easier for government officials to go after gun store owners than gun and ammunition manufacturers.

"It has nothing to do with making sure no one gets guns who shouldn't have guns," he said.

Mitchell said an attorney told him he could contest the matter further but that he was unlikely to win.

Stone, 66, said he also will sell his store, though the buyer doesn't have a license yet.

"The ATF seems to have a zero tolerance philosophy now. They don't want the human factor written in," he said.

Stone said he opened his store in 1988, and Mitchell said his store dates to 1985.

Delgadillo would not say whether other owners in the Northern San Joaquin Valley have lost licenses recently.

Mitchell said he's in favor of a proposed federal law that would change how the ATF punishes gun stores for paperwork violations.

The bill, HR 5092, would let ATF apply lesser sanctions such as fines or suspensions to such stores, according to the National Rifle Association's Web site.

The bill is not likely to receive a full vote in Congress until later this year, Mitchell said.

But the owner of a Modesto gun shop said stores found to have faulty paperwork get plenty of chances to fix the problem.

"They're honestly pretty good about it," Ronning Arms owner Ron Ronning said of ATF audits. "It's when you don't fix the problem and give them a headache that you'll have problems. There had to have been a huge problem for the ATF to do it (a license revocation)."

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Car Knocker
August 14, 2006, 01:42 PM
You're a few days too late on this one. :)

It's being discussed here:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=215356

If you enjoyed reading about "ATF continues to shut down ********** gun stores" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!