Washington Gun Law

ATF's Expanded Powers and the Potential Closure of Gun Stores

Video Highlights

  • The Biden Administration has given the ATF unprecedented power to shut down gun stores in America.
  • The Morehouse Enterprises vs. ATF case highlights the ATF's zero tolerance policy on FFL enforcement.
  • The ATF has redefined what constitutes a willful violation, making it easier to revoke licenses.
  • The ATF's discretion has been removed, and a software system called Spartan now determines sanctions.
  • Even reputable FFLs with clerical errors can have their licenses revoked under the new policy.

Video Summary

Welcome to Washington Gun Law TV, where we discuss the latest developments in firearm regulations. In this video, we will delve into the expanding powers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the potential closure of gun stores across America.


The Biden Administration has unleashed the ATF, tasking them with shutting down every single Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer in the country. To achieve this, the ATF has rewritten the rules behind closed doors, putting them in a position of immense power.


The Morehouse Enterprises vs. ATF case, currently in the United States district court in North Dakota, sheds light on the ATF's zero tolerance policy on FFL enforcement. While the Biden Administration claimed to target rogue gun dealers, they have instead gone after every gun dealer, revoking licenses for minor clerical errors.


To understand how an FFL can be shut down, we must first examine the ATF's Administrative Action Policy (AAP). In 2019, the AAP had reasonable criteria to determine willful violations, including a history of similar violations, prior acknowledgment of federal firearms regulations, and statements or admissions by the FFL.


However, the 2022 version of the AAP has significantly expanded the definition of willful violations. It now includes factors such as publication and information provided to the FFL, a history of compliance, and substantial experience as an FFL. These expanded criteria put reputable FFLs with decades of compliance at risk of license revocation.


Moreover, the ATF has removed the discretion of its agents and human beings in general. The decision-making process now relies on a software system called Spartan, developed by the ATF. This system uses an algorithm to determine sanctions, effectively removing the ability of ATF agents to exercise judgment.


The implications of these changes are significant. Rogue FFLs who blatantly break the rules are subject to revocation, as intended. Sloppy FFLs, who may have had occasional record-keeping issues, now face the same fate due to the expanded criteria. Even Boy Scout FFLs, known for their strict compliance and expertise, can be targeted based on their long history of compliance.


This means that any gun store in America could be shut down by the ATF under the current circumstances. The Morehouse Enterprises vs. ATF case, brought by The Gun Owners of America, aims to challenge the ATF's actions and protect FFLs.


As the case unfolds, it is crucial for gun owners to stay informed and support organizations like The Gun Owners of America. Understanding the law and its implications is vital for every responsible gun owner. We will continue to provide updates on this case and other developments related to our Second Amendment rights.


If you have any questions or concerns about this issue or any other firearm-related matter, please reach out to Washington Gun Law. Stay safe and exercise your rights as a lawful and responsible gun owner.