So the Washington Post notes that when a dealer gets his FFL revoked, and someone else takes over the company, they can apply for a new FFL. A common thing that seems to happen is a business is owned by some old guy, who in his age can’t seem to keep the bookkeeping straight, so ATF revokes the license. Son takes over the family business, and applies for a new license to keep the dealership, often family businesses, operating. As Richard Gardiner notes, anyone involved on the old license can’t be on the new one:
To be licensed, applicants at a minimum need to be 21, cannot have been prohibited from owning a gun – as with felons and people with certain disabilities – and must have a fixed address. Companies can apply for licenses, but their principals must meet the restrictions for individuals. Initial fees are $200. Licenses last three years. The agency might spend years in court revoking a license from a troubled dealer but by law must approve licenses to eligible applicants within 60 days.
Richard Gardiner, a former counsel for the National Rifle Association who has defended many dealers in ATF revocations, said family members, friends or associates who were not directly involved in the old license are legally entitled to their own licenses. “It’s not a loophole,” he said.
Truth is, license revocation is a poor enforcement mechanism to begin with, which is why the NRA backed reform bill will hopefully pass in the next Congress, which limits the use of revocation for enforcement, and creates a civil penalty structure to replace it. No doubt our opponents, with their penchant for blaming inanimate objects, will argue that the business should be closed, and a gun shops shall never re-open at the same site or under the same name for time immemorial. This is also a poor solution.