Dealer Regulations

There’s a lot of talk about whether someone should go to jail for the VPC’s FFL issuance.  I should clarify, there’s no criminal penalty for ATF issuing the license improperly.  There could be one for VPC, if their zoning is specifically not commercial, which Countertop mentioned it probably is, under DC’s screwed up zoning:

First, DC zoning laws are weird both in their history, their structure and language, because of the role the neighbor hood advisory council’s play.  Second, there is no way in hell this cant be deemed a commercial zone. Check Google Maps out. Rhode Island, M Street, Connecticut Ave, and 18th Street all meet at that intersection. Its perhaps the most concentrated commercial cooridor and/or intersection in all of DC.

He’s the attorney, so I’ll take his word for it here.  The requirements for issuance of dealer licenses are covered by 27 CFR 178.47, and they require submission of ATF Form 5300.37, Certification of Compliance with State and Local Law:

(6) The applicant has filed an ATF Form 5300.37 (Certification of Compliance with State and Local Law) with ATF in accordance with the instructions on the form certifying under the penalties of perjury that–
(i) The business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law in the place where the licensed premises are located;
(ii) Within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of business;
(iii) The business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met; and
(iv) The applicant has completed and sent or delivered ATF F 5300.36 (Notification of Intent to Apply for a Federal Firearms License) to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality in which the premises are located, which indicates that the applicant intends to apply for a Federal firearms license. For purposes of this paragraph, the “chief law enforcement officer” is the chief of police, the sheriff, or an equivalent officer.

So obviously there’s quite a few things that VPC would have certify under penalty of perjury.  Note that ATF accepts reasons for having a “dealer” license other than dealing firearms.  Gunsmiths also qualify for an FFL as well.  Did VPC commit a crime here?  It’s hard to say.  The DC code allows for the licensing of dealers and gunsmiths, as long as they aren’t involved in manufacturing or repair of unregisterable firearms (e.g. pistols).  Of course, DC has its own licensing requirements for dealers, which is something else to look into.

8 thoughts on “Dealer Regulations”

  1. He’s the attorney, so I’ll take his word for it here.

    Or, you know, you could just think back to that time you picked me up at work. :)

  2. Has anyone looked to see if they are violating their 501(c) ( 3) status?

  3. “Note that ATF accepts reasons for having a “dealer” license other than dealing firearms. Gunsmiths also qualify for an FFL as well.”

    True, but aren’t those with other (non-dealer) reasons to have an FFL granted different FFLs, such as the 03 (C&R)? The VPC FFL is an 01, if I read it correctly. A manufacture would be an 06.

  4. It’s quite possible they’ll deny this. There’s an exemption in FOIA for certain records that could possibly be used for law enforcement purposes. ATF has used this to deny FOIA requests before. Of course, when the denial was challenged in court, ATF lost. BTW, Tiahrt is actually a limit on ATF’s FIOA powers, that was meant to deal with the fact that ATF lost that battle in court. The FOIA denied under those grounds was by the City of Chicago for trace data.

    It’s worth a try though, but they should keep the request simple, and just request all documents associated with that FFL license. Leave the scathing legal questions out, it will just confuse the people who handle this stuff, and make it more likely the request will be denied.

  5. Applying for and holding the FFL while not entirely meeting the BATFE’s made up ( non-USC ) requirements is not unlawful in itself.

    The BATFE can use failure to be in the business, and failure to observe zoning regulations as an excuse to deny or revoke an FFL … which they would do with us mere peasants in a heartbeat. They can even inflict “administrative fees”.

    But you can’t force them to apply their administrative crap fairly.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if someone at the BATFE itself suggested they get an FFL to avoid legal hassles.

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