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Washington Post Editorial: NRA Pushes to Undermine ATF’s Gun Enforcement Through Bill

atf file photo

atf file photo

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — ONLY ABOUT 10 percent of the nation’s 100,000 licensed gun dealers are audited each year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The ATF cannot fine wayward dealers; its only tool at the moment involves revoking a miscreant’s license. And that happens only about 100 times annually.

But even this level of scrutiny rankles the National Rifle Association, which is pushing for legislation that threatens to gut the ATF’s already limited ability to keep illegal guns off the streets.

The bill, formally known as the ATF Reform and Firearms Modernization Act, is making headway in both houses of Congress, with hearings likely to take place in the Senate this month. The bill should be dramatically rewritten or scrapped altogether.

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