In the 1990’s this country experienced a near silent Stalinist purge of Federal Firearms Licensees’s under Janet Reno’s Justice Department. The Purge continues to this day almost unnoticed and completely underreported.
Here is the Clinton Administration’s own report in PDF Format on the meaning and purpose of this purge. Read the complete report at the link.
ATF Commerce in Firearms PDF Report
The Gun Control Act of 1968 established the first comprehensive Federal licensing system for importers, manufacturers and dealers in firearms to the retail level. That system requires licensees to maintain detailed records on transactions in firearms, and subjects their business premises to inspection by the ATF.
From 1968 to 1993, THE PROCESS TO OBTAIN A FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE WAS OVERLY SIMPLE. (emphasis added)
The annual fee WAS ONLY $10 for a license that authorized the person to ship, transport and receive firearms in interstate commerce and engage in retail sales. The statue required ATF to issue a license within 45 days to anyone who was 21 years old, had premises from which they intended to conduct business and who otherwise was not prohibited from possessing firearms.
The statute was designed TO LIMIT THE DISCRETION OF ATF IN DENYING LICENSES.
Over time the numbers of licensees began to swell until 1992 when the numbers reached over 284,000……………
In 1993, Congress increased the license application fee to $200 for three years.
Again, in 1994, Congress imposed requirements that applicants submit photographs and fingerprints to better enable ATF to identify applicants and new criteria that ensures that the business to be conducted would comply with all applicable State and local laws…..
From 1975 to 1992 the licensee population grew from 161,927 to 284,117………..
In 1993 and 1994, Congress added several safeguards to ensure only legitimate gun dealers obtain Federal licenses, including increased fees and certification requirements.
Following the ATF’s implementation of those provisions the number of Federal firearms licensees DROPPED FROM 284,117 IN 1992 TO 103,942 IN 1999. OF THESE 80,570 ARE RETAIL DEALERS OR PAWNBROKERS.