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View Full Version : Violence Policy Center has an FFL?


whomper
02-11-2008, 3:53 PM
I came across this thread on www.ar15.com
The Violence Policy Center has an FFL. Which starts raise all sorts of questions. Besides the obvious hypocritical issues.
Do they sell guns?
If not, why on earth have an FFL?
How can you keep it?
Is there a storefront?

I guess the FFl is in Joshua Sugermann's name.
Huffington Post states:
Josh Sugarmann is the founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center (VPC),


I was curious to see what you guys had to say.
Sorry if its been done before.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=673344
http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm
http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/4464/vpcfflrb7.jpg

ke6guj
02-11-2008, 4:01 PM
They know that Heller is gonna be upheld, so they want to be the neighborhood FFL in DC :D Trying to get a jump on the competition.

JeffM
02-11-2008, 4:10 PM
Only reason I can think of is so they can have access to and transfer the evil-guns-that-shoot-people-for-no-reason-at-all for propaganda photo ops/displays, etc.

whomper
02-11-2008, 4:12 PM
Only reason I can think of is so they can have access to and transfer the evil-guns-that-shoot-people-for-no-reason-at-all for propaganda photo ops/displays, etc.

Yeah, but don't they have to operate a storefront? Didn't the ATF stop issuing FFls for "kitchen table dealers?"

In their own words:
http://www.vpc.org/press/9212mrgd.htm
New Study--More Gun Dealers Than Gas Stations--Documents Criminal Abuse of Federal Gun Dealer Licenses and Regulatory Failures of Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)

Hundreds of thousands of Americans—including an untold number of criminals—illegitimately possess Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) according to a new 138-page study, More Gun Dealers Than Gas Stations, released today by the Violence Policy Center. The study was released at an 11:30 A.M. press conference on Friday, December 11 held at the offices of the Violence Policy Center, located at 1300 N Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

According to Josh Sugarmann (name on the FFL), VPC executive director and one of the authors of the study, "The FFL is a public safety scandal created by the very agency charged with enforcing federal firearms laws. By giving a federal gun-dealing license to virtually anyone who can come up with $30 and isn't a convicted felon, ATF has put criminals in the business of selling guns."

From 1975 to 1992, the number of Type I FFLs (the basic federal license required to sell guns in America) jumped more than 67 percent—from 146,429 to 245,000. FFL holders can order guns wholesale through the mail in unlimited quantities and are exempt from retail sales laws such as waiting periods and background checks. Type I dealers fall into two categories: those operating storefront businesses, or "stocking" dealers; and "kitchen-table" dealers who operate out of their homes. ATF estimates that only 20 percent (49,000) of Type I FFLs are storefront operations. The remainder are kitchen-table dealers who typically operate in violation of state and local business and licensing laws and unbeknownst to local law enforcement personnel. [State and local listings of FFL holders are available from the Violence Policy Center.]

The result is a "bloated, unmanageable universe of illegitimate FFL holders" that is virtually impossible to regulate and prone to criminal abuse. For example:

* During a six-month period in 1990, Gustavo Salazar, a Type I FFL kitchen-table dealer in Los Angeles purchased more than 1,500 guns and sold them to gang members and other individuals. An ATF check on 1,165 handguns sold by Salazar revealed that only four had been registered under California law.

* From February to June 1990 Detroit kitchen-table dealer McClinton Thomas ordered hundreds of handguns. All of the guns were sold off the books, including 90 guns to a "big-time dope dealer."

In a first-of-its-kind analysis of criminal gun traces in Detroit, the study found that:

* In a ranking of dealers by number of crime guns traced back to them, kitchen-table dealers ranked first, second, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth.

* One third of all dealers who had five or more crime guns traced back to them were kitchen-table dealers.

* The average number of guns traced per kitchen-table dealer was nearly one and a half times that of stocking gun dealers.

The study notes that the Detroit figures provide "disturbing evidence that kitchen-table dealers contribute significantly to criminal gun flow, perhaps at a rate far higher than stocking gun dealers. What is most disturbing is that...[these figures]...are the first of their kind."

The study shows that abuses conducted by FFLs fall into five categories:

* Straw-Man Purchases—where a person who is not in a restricted category (the straw man) purchases a weapon for someone who is prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

* Unrecorded Sales—where the FFL sells weapons to a purchaser without logging the guns into his firearms distribution book or confirming the identity of the purchaser.

* Buy and Dump—unrecorded sales where large quantities of weapons are purchased and distributed in a short period of time.

* License Falsification—where the federal license itself is altered or falsified to permit illegal transactions.

* Gun Shows—federal laws regarding gun shows are often ignored, with violations usually occurring three ways: out-of-state dealers sell through a local FFL; guns are sold by out-of-state licensees at the show even though it is not their licensed place of business; and, guns are simply sold off the books.

Type I FFLs are almost always granted and renewed by ATF, and almost never revoked. Ninety percent of all licensee applicants are not visited or interviewed by ATF before a license is granted. On average, each year less than three percent of all current license holders (Types I-11) are inspected. In 1990 ATF revoked only three of the 235, 684 Type I FFLs held by Americans—or one thousandth of one percent. The study notes, "Considering the low number of annual inspections and ATF's attitude toward low-volume dealers, a kitchen-table dealer can expect to hold his FFL for a lifetime without meeting an ATF inspector."

Even if ATF expressed greater enthusiasm for its regulatory responsibilities, its compliance powers are hindered by two factors: the sheer size of the FFL universe; and 1986's National Rifle Association-backed McClure-Volkmer amendments to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which placed several roadblocks in ATF's way. The study reveals, however, that although McClure-Volkmer is often cited as the primary reason for ATF's regulatory laxity, under the law the agency is required to deny FFLs to those who do not meet its relatively high "engaged in the business" threshold. If ATF enforced this standard, the study estimates that the number of FFL holders would shrink to a far more easily regulated 49,000 licensees. The study traces ATF's present lack of regulatory enthusiasm to its near-dismantling in the early 1980s. This has resulted in "a bureaucratic culture that strives to avoid controversy and in its regulatory activities almost always adopts the most pro-industry interpretation possible."

JeffM
02-11-2008, 4:27 PM
There are some that are grandfathered in. It looks like it expired two years ago though.

whomper
02-11-2008, 4:35 PM
Negative.
It expires 3/1/08.
Probably better to wait til they renew it to make a stink.

762cavalier
02-11-2008, 5:58 PM
By giving a federal gun-dealing license to virtually anyone who can come up with $30 and isn't a convicted felon, ATF has put criminals in the business of selling guns."

This statement seems to contradict itself. If I am not a convicted felon then how am I a criminal selling guns.

paradox
02-11-2008, 6:06 PM
Anyone getting flashbacks from the "No Guns" gun running group brouhaha? I wouldn't be surprised if the VPC was just a front for illegal gun smuggling :eek: :D

whomper
02-11-2008, 6:27 PM
Anyone getting flashbacks from the "No Guns" gun running group brouhaha? I wouldn't be surprised if the VPC was just a front for illegal gun smuggling :eek: :D

Well, duh. That's where all those illegal guns in DC are coming from.

Seriously, we could use this to knock the stuffing out of the Brady Bunch.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-sugarmann/want-loaded-guns-in-natio_b_85083.html
Sugermann's Blog.
Check out some of the sponsors.

Personally, I'd like to see a multi-pronged attack. NRA, GOA, bricks in the mail, the works.
The hypocrisy blows me away. The guy who wrote, "Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case For Banning Handguns" has a license to sell guns. Unbelievable.

DesertGunner
02-11-2008, 6:32 PM
I think I misunderstood something here. Is ATF going to start issuing "kitchen-table" FFLs again?

jdberger
02-11-2008, 6:41 PM
Hmmm...I think that it might be time to buy some RGs (or Ravens or whatever) and list Sugarman as the transfer dealer...:43:

CCWFacts
02-11-2008, 7:56 PM
Yeah, it sounds like they are one of these rogue dealers. I thought the ATF was now only licensing FFLs with normal retail stores or other normal commercial arrangements. Is the VPC's HQ even zoned for retail? I suspect a zoning violation is going on there.

whomper
02-11-2008, 8:45 PM
Could this affect the VPC's non-profit status?
Zoning regulations are another weak spot.

thedrickel
02-11-2008, 9:36 PM
Could this affect the VPC's non-profit status?

It should - you have to be in the business of selling guns to have an 01FFL.

packnrat
02-11-2008, 10:04 PM
It should - you have to be in the business of selling guns to have an 01FFL.

how many guns does one need to "sell" to qualify?

i hold a c&r ffl, but sometimes i have thought of getting a dealers ffl, but then again i would need a store front, not that hard to set up for a "specilaty" dealer.

even the b.a.t.f.e & a (how do you tax arson?) would have a bit of a time doing a suprise visit here on top of this hill, ....not imposable just harder than jumping out of the black van and running inside.:TFH:

Crazed_SS
02-11-2008, 10:38 PM
A lot of times Antis go through the motions to prove "how easy" it is to get a gun, or some kind of gun license/permit.

Like how concealed carry permits in some states only require basic paperwork.. an Anti reporter might say, "After only 15 minutes of paperwork, I am now able to legally carry this loaded large-caliber semi-automatic handgun almost anywhere I want!"

hoffmang
02-11-2008, 10:38 PM
I wonder if Sugarman got the neccessary approval from the DC police... Anyone want to write a FOIA request?

-Gene

artherd
02-11-2008, 10:58 PM
The VPC does not own the FFL, he owns it personally. That said, this should be a pretty big publicity bomb.

Supposed 'safety' organization owner secretly RUNNING GUNS FOR PROFIT!!

M. Sage
02-11-2008, 11:14 PM
... are you guys surprised? You know that PETA euthanizes about 85% of the animals they "rescue" while calling animal control officials paid by cities and counties bad names for doing pretty much the same thing.

You expect VPC to be any different?

whomper
02-11-2008, 11:51 PM
... are you guys surprised? You know that PETA euthanizes about 85% of the animals they "rescue" while calling animal control officials paid by cities and counties bad names for doing pretty much the same thing.

You expect VPC to be any different?

Nope. I'm stoked to find this out, though.

It is curious that the address of the FFL is the same as the VPC.
Aren't there a few FFLs in personal names of those that own the store?

What about the IRS side of things? Can a non-profit org be an FFL? An FFL is in the business of buying and selling firearms.

johnny_22
02-12-2008, 7:15 AM
Whenever an article or radio show talked about the overturning of the DC gun ban, they warned that DC residents would rush out and buy guns the same day. I would email them and tell them that without an FFL in DC, that was impossible legally.

Now we find that the VPC is the FFL in DC. No wonder no one answered my emails; they knew the truth!

Army
02-12-2008, 9:45 AM
Curious if the DC area requires by law, an FFL holder to conduct a PPT? Think of the fun one could have at the VPC headquarters......

whomper
02-12-2008, 11:06 AM
I just called ATF San Diego field office and talked to Kathy in Industrial Relations, or something like that.
She said that an FFL and Dealer are defined in 921. She also said that an FFL "is engaged in the business of buying and selling guns for a profit."

Some definitions:


TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > 921

921. Definitions
...
(11) The term “dealer” means
(A) any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail,
(B) any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or
(C) any person who is a pawnbroker. The term “licensed dealer” means any dealer who is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
...
(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—
(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured;
(B) as applied to a manufacturer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured;
(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921 (a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
(D) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921 (a)(11)(B), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms, or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;
(E) as applied to an importer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported; and
(F) as applied to an importer of ammunition, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported.
...
(22) The term “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection: Provided, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “terrorism” means activity, directed against United States persons, which—
(A) is committed by an individual who is not a national or permanent resident alien of the United States;
(B) involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life which would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States; and
(C) is intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.


http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/921.html

This was on the IRS site:
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

whomper
02-12-2008, 11:53 AM
A member of THR sent out an FOIA request.
Feeling kinda ornery today. Saw the above link, got torqued and put together a FEDERAL FOIA request. It's too late to make changes, I sent it out this afternoon.

FOIA Request Launched:

February 12, 2008

Averill P. Graham
Chief, Disclosure Division
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Department of Justice
Suite 1E360
99 New York Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20226
(202) 648-8740

FOIA REQUEST
Fee waiver requested

Dear FOI Officer:

Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552,
o I request access to and copies of Any and all audit results of the "bound book" kept by FFL Holder: Joshua Alan Sugarman 1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW #1014 Washington DC 20036 License Number: 1-54-XXX-XX-XX-00725.
o Number of firearms transferred by Mr. Sugarman broken out by handgun, rifle and shotgun.
o Copy of his Federal Firearms Application.
o Justification of how a 501c(3) non-profit corporation can obtain a type 1 FFL when the intent of having a type 1 FFL is to: devote time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.
o Amount of time Mr. Sugarman has had his Federal Firearms License, including number of renewals.
o Also a determination of whether or not possession of a Type 1 FFL merits immunity from Washington DC's handgun ban.

I would like to receive the information in electronic format, preferably E-mailed to: XXX@XX.XX. However, a CD with the records mailed to me at the above address is also acceptable. If neither option is available, I request hard copies.

Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities.
o I am requesting this information because it appears that Joshua Sugarman, head of the Violence Prevention Center a 501c(3) non-profit has a Type 1 FFL that might be illegally held or obtained.
o I am trying to determine if it is legal for a 501c(3) non-profit corporation to legally possess a firearms license when the intent of the license is for individuals or corporations to make a living through the retail buying and selling of firearms.
o I am also wondering how many firearms Mr. Sugarman has transferred through his Federal Firearms License.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

I look forward to your reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=338977

CCWFacts
02-12-2008, 12:05 PM
"Ornery". Whatever makes that guy "ornery", it should happen to that guy as often as possible.

hoffmang
02-12-2008, 8:19 PM
Someone needs to FOIA DC Police to see if Sugarman got the required DC Police permission

-Gene

ke6guj
03-04-2008, 10:48 PM
VPC got their FFL renewed. Valid til 3/2011.