In an unusual action, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revoked the license of the Tacoma, Wash., gun store that stocked the rifle used in last year’s Washington, D.C., area sniper shootings. The ATF found four instances in which Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply failed to keep federal sales records, which are required so police can trace weapons used in crimes.
Brian Borgelt, 39, owner of Bull’s Eye, has until July 25 to close his business. The Seattle Times reports that Borgelt wants to transfer ownership of Bull’s Eye to a longtime friend who has yet to obtain a federal firearms license. ATF officials have used “incredible gyrations and obstruction” to thwart the prospective buyer Borgelt’s attorney said, including trying to persuade the new owner to change the name of the store. “We feel pretty confident … that Bull’s Eye will stay open,” the lawyer said.
ATF studies show about 1 percent of gun stores sell the weapons traced to 57 percent of gun crimes. As a result, these few gun dealers have a vastly disproportionate impact on public safety. ATF rarely revokes dealer licenses, choosing in most cases to warn dealers, thereby avoiding cumbersome appeals.