When federal officials revoked a Baltimore area gun dealer’s license this year, he looked to Washington, the Baltimore Sun says. Sanford Abrams, a board member of the National Rifle Association, won a concession from federal prosecutors that allows the sale of more than 700 guns from his store’s inventory. The move outraged critics who thought his days of selling firearms were over. The buyer is likely to be a gun shop opening next door in a building owned by Abrams’ 80-year-old mother.
Gun control advocates say the fallout from the Abrams case is a troubling illustration of how hard it is for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to wrest a firearms license from a large-scale gun dealer. The license revocation in the Abrams case was based on more than 900 violations of record-keeping regulations designed to help police track guns used in crimes. The Americans for Gun Safety foundation ranked Abrams 37th out of 80,000 dealers for the sale of firearms between 1996 and 2000 that were later used in crimes. “Clearly, the NRA is trying to protect him,” said Daniel Vice of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “And by protecting him, they are protecting the worst of the worst of rogue gun dealers.” Abrams, an outspoken advocate of gun rights, said he has never committed a crime and has been unfairly targeted by overzealous federal agents.