ATF Releases Industry Inspection Results for 2013

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In this issue:
– Article: ATF Releases Industry Inspection Results for 2013

– Press Release: ATF Executive Joins Orchid Advisors to Lead Regulatory Compliance Practice

– Download: Three best-practice whitepapers

ATF releases Industry Inspection Results for 2013

At the close of the 2014 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) released a report which stated that during Fiscal Year 2013, the Bureau conducted compliance inspections of over 10,000 FFLs. It notes that nearly half of all of the FFLs inspected (48.73%) had committed no violations.

The full report can be seen here: SHOT Show January 2014 – Industry Operations Inspection Results

ATF’s compliance inspections are designed to protect the general public in that they promote compliance on the part of the FFL to prevent and detect the diversion of firearms from lawful commerce to the illegal market. The ATF is allowed to conduct one warrantless, compliance inspection of a FFL per year. The purpose of the inspection from the point of view of the ATF is to educate the FFL holder about regulatory responsibilities and to evaluate the level of compliance.

There were approximately 70,000 FFLs engaged in business in Fiscal Year 2013 (excluding collector licenses). Throughout 2013, the ATF conducted more than 10,000 compliance inspections. Approximately 48.73% of the licensees inspected were determined to be in full compliance and no violations were cited. Approximately 69 Federal Firearms Licenses were revoked or were denied renewal. This figure is approximately 0.069% of the number of licensees inspected or less than 0.001% of all licensees as a whole.

These statistics show a slight increase in violations over 2012 as the percentage of non-violations on 2012 was 48.21%. It should be noted that the ATF conducted almost 2,000 more inspections in 2012 than 2013. The full compliance numbers of 2009 were 53.79% and 2010 and 2011 were slightly above 50%. The half percentage point uptick from 2012 to 2013 may look promising, but still points out that more work is needed on the part of FFLs to remain in compliance.

With regard to the three most common violations found, all were paperwork errors in the following order:

•    The transferee of a firearm failed to properly complete section A of Form 4473 
•    The FFL failed to timely record information in their bound book 
•    Failure on the part of the FFL to complete forms as indicated in instructions.

These three violations have been the top three for over a decade, although the failure to timely record the information in the bound book dropped from first place to second place in 2013. Violations such as these point out the need for solutions to aid transferees in accurately completing the form. There is also the need for timeliness on the part of the FFL to record transactions in their bound book and to ensure that they are not compounding the errors by inaccurately completing their section of the forms.

Orchid Advisors offers solutions to aid FFLs in these areas to keep them in compliance with all ATF regulations. The solutions range from accurately completing forms to inventory control to complete re-engineering of manufacturing, distribution and retail technology systems.

Orchid Advisors provides electronic newsletter (“Advisory and Alert”) and blogs for general informational purposes only. It should not be considered a formal or informal interpretation of law. It is not intended as professional counsel, should not be considered legal advice and should not be used as such.