The ATF is often unable to revoke the licenses of dealers who break the law because of certain restrictions and a lack of resources. Even when the agency does find serious violations, like gun sales to those who are underage, it can take one to three years for dealers to lose their licenses. Moreover, the ATF must meet the difficult standard of finding that dealers committed a violation “willfully” —even though dealers who break federal laws are a major source of trafficked firearms.
O’Malley will ensure the ATF has the funding and authority it needs to do its job and keep the American people safe. This includes revising the standard by which dealers can have their licenses revoked, and increasing follow-up so that dealers who lose their licenses do not pass on their business to friends or relatives, or continue to sell guns as unlicensed sellers.