There’s a lot of talk about whether someone should go to jail for the VPC’s FFL issuance.Â I should clarify, there’s no criminal penalty for ATF issuing the license improperly.Â 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 councilâ€™s play.Â 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.Â 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.Â Note that ATF accepts reasons for having a “dealer” license other than dealing firearms.Â Gunsmiths also qualify for an FFL as well.Â Did VPC commit a crime here?Â It’s hard to say.Â 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).Â Of course, DC has its own licensing requirements for dealers, which is something else to look into.