ATF Preparing to Target Smith & Wesson and Others

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According to Firearm Chronicles

A leaked email shows that The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is seeking volunteer Industry Operations Inspectors (IOIs) to serve on temporary detail to the Boston field office in Mid-October of this year.

The email was sent out across the ATF to get volunteers for the operation. The purpose of the detail is to carry out several large-scale inspections of gun manufactures and sub-contractors in the New England area. The action isn’t limited to any single firearms manufacture. It seems like the ATF is targeting the gun industry in New England as a whole. The ATF is not acting on any actionable information but will be looking for record-keeping and other compliance violations.

The detail would last 30 days, and the IOIs would target several major firearms manufacturers across the Northeast region. New England is the home of some of the most historically significant firearms manufacturers in the country, including Colt and Smith & Wesson. No specific company was named in the initial request for volunteers itself, but it did show that the targets would be major players in the firearms field and all sub-contractors for major companies.

In a follow-up ATF email leaked to AmmoLand News, Smith & Wesson was specifically named for the inspections. It seems like the 165-year-old company has been in the crosshairs of anti-gun groups and anti-gun politicians for some time. A liberal California judge ruled that the victims of an attack on a synagogue could sue the gun manufacture even though the law indemnifies them from being sued over the misuse of their products.

The ATF might ask some IOIs to stay on the detail for an additional pay period depending on what the inspections turn up at the gun companies. The request asks for IOIs with at least three years of experience and experience with manufacturer compliance inspections. To some employees in the ATF, this sounds like a fishing expedition targeting the legal sale of firearms. The operation seems to be run by ATF Director of Industry Operations Nicholas O’Leary himself.

President Joe Biden has put the gun industry in his crosshairs before even taking office.

He and Vice President Kamala Harris has lobbied to remove federal protections against civil suits targeting firearms companies. The current administration wants to allow people to sue gun companies for crimes using their products. Gun rights advocates say removing this protection would be akin to allowing people to sue car companies for drunk driving accidents.

During Biden’s term in the US Senate, he voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that protected manufacturers from anti-gun groups, such as the Brady Organization, from funding lawsuits to make it economically unfeasible for anyone to run a gun company. Especially with the prevalence of anti-gun judicial advocacy in the country, running a firearms company would be financially impossible. Even if the company does win in court, it will still cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The goal of the suits would be to bankrupt gun manufacturers and dealers to cut down on the supply of firearms available to the American public.

Biden’s pick to head the ATF, David Chipman, has also advocated targeting gun manufacturers to prevent people from exercising their God-given right to bear arms. Chipman is an anti-gun zealot that preaches the use of the ATF rulemaking ability to ban magazines because, in his opinion, they could be considered machine guns because they speed up the rate of fire.

Chipman has also worked for several anti-gun organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety’s predecessor, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Giffords. If Chipman is confirmed, we can expect operations like this to become commonplace.

Gun Owners America (GOA) sees this action as a blatant attempt to harass gun manufacturers. GOA has a large presence in the New England area and has called for defunding the ATF because the group sees the ATF as an out-of-control unconstitutional agency. They believe the ATF is trying to implement backdoor gun control by targeting gun companies.

“This sounds like a blatant attempt to harass legitimate businesses,” said Alan Rice, New Hampshire State Director for Gun Owners of America. “The Biden Administration is working overtime to make things difficult and inconvenient so that fewer people will want to engage in the business of manufacturing and selling firearms to law-abiding people. These burdensome inspections will surely result in increased costs to be passed along to gun buyers.”

Rice further stated that if he were running a gun or ammunition manufacturer he would respectfully decline to supply arms and ammunition to any federal law enforcement agencies as long as the Biden Administration is weaponizing law enforcement against a Constitutionally protected industry.

AmmoLand will continue to monitor the situation and report if the operations expand.

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