How effective is a law that’s not enforced? Not very. That’s why many insist we don’t need more gun laws- we just need to enforce the ones we already have. They’re half right. But what we really need is both greater enforcement and more common-sense gun laws.. How do we do this?
Federal law requires The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to routinely inspect gun dealers. But the ATF does not have all the resources it needs to carry out this responsibility. The ATF lacks sufficient staff to conduct initial inspections and follow-up inspections in case of violations. Because the ATF does not publish inspection results, Brady filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain inspection data. Incredibly, we have found that the ATF rarely revokes a dealer’s license, even for the most serious violations. More often, ATF issues a warning with little follow-up. Brady is still litigating over redactions to the inspection reports (due to the Tiahrt Amendment) and pushing for other record requests to be fulfilled. The public must demand oversight and resourcing of the ATF so that it can do its job.
Did you know that the gun industry has special protections no other industry has? The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) has given the gun industry special immunity from being held accountable when their products are used to do harm. We are working with Congress to repeal PLCAA and send a message that the gun industry is not above the law.