The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) caved to pressure from the anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety this week when it revoked the federal firearms license of a gun maker in Nevada.
Everytown joined forces with Kansas City officials in filing a lawsuit against the ATF last year. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim the federal agency had improperly issued a federal firearm license to JA Industries, which the plaintiffs claim was knowingly selling firearms to gun runners.
In response to the lawsuit, the ATF announced this week that they had issued JA Industries a notice of revocation of its firearms license. The agency did not take this action in response to a court order — they did so “voluntarily,” according to their letter. Everytown claims this is a “first-of-its-kind victory for gun safety.”
“We can only hope this decision marks the beginning of a new era at ATF, one that is consistent with President Biden’s commitment to holding rogue and reckless members of the gun industry accountable for breaking the law and putting lives in danger,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “After decades of serving as the gun industry’s lapdog, it’s time for ATF to do its job and be the American people’s watchdog.”
As GunsAmerica reported last year, Everytown claimed JA Industries and its owner, Paul Jimenez, had been selling firearms to illegal gun dealers in Kansas City. But according to an affidavit written by an ATF agent, it’s unclear how much Jimenez and his employees know about that illegal activity.
The Kansas City gun runner who purchased firearms, James Samuels, usually ordered the firearms from Jimenez and had them sent to a local FFL. At one point, however, Samuels had 11 firearms shipped directly to his house. When Jimenez Arms employees contacted Samuels and asked him about straw purchasing, he claimed that his FFL had moved and assured them that he made buyers pass a background check before purchasing.
In its list of “allegations” against Jimenez, Everytown accuses the gun maker of selling cheap guns “that are particularly attractive to traffickers.”
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They also claim that Jimenez was cited in 2012 and 2017 for “serious recordkeeping violations,” but the ATF decided to hold a warning conference in lieu of revocation. If those violations were so “serious,” it’s unclear why the ATF didn’t revoke Jimenez’s license.
Of course, whether Jimenez deserved to have his license revoked is beside the point. Now, Everytown knows to go after gun dealers and manufacturers by suing the ATF, and Biden’s ATF will respond according to their wishes.
JA Industries was an easy target, given its connection to a convicted gun runner. But you can be sure that we’ll see more of these lawsuits while an anti-gun president runs the Department of Justice.