Gun Shop Owner in Texas Sues Biden’s ATF for Alleged Misuse of 1968 Gun Control Act

Michael Cargill, a gun dealer in Austin, Texas who owns Central Texas Gun Works, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), is suing Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for allegedly “misusing the 1968 Gun Control Act,” according to the Washington Times.

The Gun Control Act regulates gun sales by focusing on inadvertent errors, such as mistaking ‘county’ for ‘country’ on paperwork and being used by the ATF of using these clerical errors as an excuse to shut down gun stores.

President Biden has been pushing his public agenda to curtail legal gun ownership, and his administration has been taking steps behind the scenes to threaten the Second Amendment by targeting gun stores. This issue has not received much attention since the White House began trying to make life harder for owners of establishments that sell firearms.

“But now that we have at least one business fighting back,” TPPF attorney said, “The administration has begun revoking licenses based on a handful of these inadvertent mistakes among thousands of Form 4473’s that do not result in criminals or prohibited possessors obtaining guns. There’s just one problem, the administration’s enforcement policy ignores the text of the Gun Control Act.

The plaintiffs allege that the ATF under President Biden is unfairly targeting gun dealers by leveraging record-keeping measures intended to prevent criminals from purchasing firearms.

In a report by The Trace in October, the ATF revoked three times as many gun dealer licenses in 2022 as they did the previous year. This is the result of the Biden administration’s zero tolerance policy on establishments that sell firearms.

This report revealed that altogether, the agency revoked 92 licenses in 2022, roughly 1.3% of all the dealers inspected. The total more than triple the number of licenses revoked in 2021, when a similar number of dealers were inspected. Another 136 dealers received warning conferences, the steepest penalty inspectors can recommend without revocation.

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David Chipman, a former ATF agent and an advisory board member for the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at Johns Hopkins University, celebrated the data. Chipman commented, “The trendline is good. I think we have to applaud the agency for holding the industry accountable, for doing its job.”

Despite Chipman’s comments, this has nothing to do with anyone being held accountable. Shutting down gun dealers over silly clerical errors won’t make anyone safer, It will only make it more difficult for responsible citizens to exercise their right to bear arms, which is exactly what Biden wants. The ATF’s ostensible role is to stop illegal gun trafficking. This zero-tolerance policy is not geared toward that purpose. Instead, it is a naked attempt to infringe on the Second Amendment by trying to eliminate entities that sell firearms.

President Biden was threatening gunowners on Thanksgiving Day saying that gun manufacturers shouldn’t be allowed to produce semi-automatic weapons. Biden is currently urging Congress to pass anti-gun legislation during its lame-duck period before Republicans take control of the House in 2023.

It is not likely that Biden’s effort will bear fruit. But this does not mean the White House isn’t set on using executive power to hamper gun ownership in any way possible. Hopefully, Cargill and the TPPF will be successful in using the legal system to hold the administration accountable.

We appreciate our friends at Republican Daily for their contributions in this article.

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