ATF audits


April 14, 2008, 07:33 PM
We’re hearing all kinds of stories about ATF audits of late. The ‘errors’ that are found are usually so trivial in nature as to be laughable but the ATF goes ape over them.

My friend has a pawn shop and a large portion of his business revolves around gun sales. It is staffed only by him and his son. They are very careful with the records yet he still gets dinged for a few items during each audit.

Why is it we don’t hear about the ‘big stores’ and their audits? I’ve yet to meet anyone in a Wal Mart store that knows which end of a gun to point down range. Some of the big-name sporting goods stores aren’t much better. I find it hard to believe that their records are perfect. Why isn’t the ATF after them as well? Perhaps the ATF is afraid of large corporations with lots of money to spend on lawyers?

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April 14, 2008, 08:27 PM
Ding, ding, we have a winner, you certainly answered your own question.

April 15, 2008, 09:35 AM
Why is it we don’t hear about the ‘big stores’ and their audits?

I've asked ATF agents about this. They did not mention names, but said that many big stores had several policies in place to make sure the paperwork is correct. This would include things like 2 people checking a serial number and signing an in-house form that everything was correct before a gun is shipped, and 2 people checking an in-house list of guns sold that day against the bound book to make sure all guns sold were logged out.

I know when I receive packing slips from some distributors (who ship and receive more guns than any brick and mortar) they are often signed by two or 3 people.

In other words, big stores/distributors that sell multiple million $ per month have more to lose (monetarily) by having their license taken away, so they can invest more in fail safes to check and double check their paperwork, computers to track inventory by the minute, etc.

The guy I talked to said it often took them less time to audit some distributors (thousands of guns in and out per week) than it did some mom and pop places because the distributor's records were so perfect and well maintained.

April 15, 2008, 09:47 AM
Amazing how a simple policy like having two people review the forms will cut way down on careless errors, if not totally eliminate them.

So much for conspiracy theories.


April 16, 2008, 10:32 AM
How dare you disparage my conspiracy theories. :scrutiny:

April 16, 2008, 10:47 AM
My store(big chain retailer) recently had an audit, which apparently involved a really nice guy. Our Loss Prevention manager works her hind end off keeping the papers in order after the sale, and we have a limited few that are allowed to sell the firearms. Despite that, one of those few knows squat about guns and doesn't seem to get a few of the smaller items on the forms right every time. Our own company policy requires a printed validation from the register (lists price and item) on the form and a manager's initials in the margin after they check it.

Despite all of the checks, the occasional two digit year or unreadable word slips through and we get dinged. It's not worth the ATF's time to make a massive case over it with the extremely small volume we deal with. Our monthly inventory has never been missing a gun since I've been there. Surprisingly, the bound book is where we get hit hardest (again, line-entry mistakes from that one person).

April 17, 2008, 03:44 AM
I have a really wild idea. The person who keeps messing up the gun records - gets that responsibility removed from his or her job description.

April 17, 2008, 10:36 AM
That's a great idea- except some of the FFL getting dinged for 'errors', the 'errors' took place twenty years ago.

April 17, 2008, 10:59 AM
Big chain stores like Walmart won't get "dinged" by the ATF mainly because they do not sell the "evil" guns like pistols and ARs.

It's the regular gunshop or pawnshops that sell the hated EBR and handguns and when you revoke the licence to sell 90% of their merchandise you effectively put them out of buisness. How many small time gunshop owners can afford to appeal an ATF decision to revoke their licence? While large chain stores have deep pockets for lawyers, PR reps, and can still sell 99% of their merchandice in the meantime.

April 17, 2008, 12:40 PM
At the Scheels store in my city they have you fill out the background check papers and then the guy helping you will check it then call manager who checks to make sure everything is ok then they call it in and both are there until the gun is ready to be brought to the counter where only the person on the floor brings it to the counter.

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