National Gun Control Advocates Come Together, Showing They’re Not Profound

Nearly 48 gun control organizations handed President Biden a stern warning: increase gun regulation or else.

The group’s anti-gun screed included a jab at the agency that oversees the firearms business, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

They requested the ATF cut links with the gun industry, proving their lack of concern for preventing illegal gun usage and keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

The letter also demands the ATF discontinue holding private briefings and training classes at the NSSF’s annual SHOT Show. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has long-standing relationships with the DOJ and ATF.

It has also led to safer neighborhoods through initiatives like Don’t Lie For the Other Guy and Operation Secure Store, both part of the firearm industry’s real solutions. 

Initiatives And Programs

ATF, DOJ, and the weapons industry have worked together for over 20 years on Don’t Lie, a program designed to help educate firearm merchants and their personnel on illegal straw transactions. 

The NSSF-funded program also includes public service advertisements, warning that lying on the federal form required to buy a firearm from a dealer is a felony offense.

A “straw purchase” is when someone falsely claims to be the purchaser when buying the gun for somebody else. Criminally, it is punishable by up to ten years in federal jail and a $250,000 fine.

Operation Secure Store is a joint initiative by the firearms industry and the ATF to educate federal firearms registrants about “smash and grab” intrusions and gun thefts.

The NSSF matches any ATF incentive for information that leads to the discovery of illegal firearms and the arrest of the criminals involved.

These joint efforts to decrease break-ins and gun thefts have yielded tangible benefits. Since Operation Secure Store began in 2017, the number of federal firearms licensee burglaries and gun thefts has decreased every year until 2020.

Burglaries are down 50% and gun theft is down 62%. Indeed, the ATF/Operation Secure Store relationship makes our neighborhoods safer. 

At the NSSF’s SHOT Show 2022, Acting ATF Head Marvin Richardson spoke with reporters about these vital programs, industry regulatory problems, and retailer compliance.

In both Republican and Democratic administrations, the ATF has attended the SHOT Show. Makers, retailers, and wholesalers visit the ATF’s booth to ask questions and seek help on regulatory and legal compliance issues.

Over the years, the ATF has held sold-out compliance-focused town hall sessions at SHOT Show, allowing hundreds of industry participants to stay informed on vital compliance and regulatory issues.

Don’t Lie and Operation Secure Store are highlighted, as well as the NSSF’s relationship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Brave Conversation” initiative.

NSSF and ATF also organize dozens of satellite live outreach training workshops.

Over 40 million weapon safety kits, along with a free gun lock, have been distributed throughout the country as part of the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe campaign.

The National Safety Council reports a steady decline in accidental firearm deaths since 1999.

Nominations

The ATF, DOJ, government agencies, and the firearms business have a tight relationship that cannot be broken.

These gun control groups also demanded the ATF “nominate and confirm” a new director “who will champion gun violence prevention values.”

“Nominating David Chipman was a brave move,” the authors noted.

Gun control lobbyist David Chipman, who has a long list of issues, failed to garner the backing of all Senate Democrats. He was deadlocked in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The firearms industry has supported ATF nominations from both Democratic and Republican presidents. The NSSF backed President Obama’s nominee, B. Todd Jones.

The NSSF has never rejected a Senate Judiciary Committee-approved ATF nominee.

An annual background check for federal gun licensing personnel is also demanded in the letter. The gun industry suggested this concept years ago to the Obama administration, which did nothing, despite the Democratic dominance of the White House and Congress. 

The groups also want the administration to “punish gun traffickers and unlawful firearms dealers.”

This is already happening, thanks to excellent collaborations between the firearms industry, ATF, DOJ, and local law enforcement.

On the whole, national gun control groups are squeezing the last slivers of hope out of relationships. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens are arming themselves with firearms in unprecedented numbers.

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