Senior officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have routinely overlooked reports of violations and let gun dealers in breach of gun laws keep their licenses, The New York Times reports. Several current and former law enforcement officials told the Times inspectors often discover and report back on serious violations only to have ATF officials overrule their recommendations and let gun dealers get off with a warning. In one case, a gun store was cited for repeatedly failing to conduct background checks before selling firearms. Another gun dealer sold a weapon to a man who admitted to being a felon. In both cases, as well as many others, ATF supervisors downgraded the recommended penalties and allowed the stores to remain open, according to the report. Over the course of one year starting in October 2016, more than half of about 11,000 inspected gun stores were cited for violations—but less than 1 percent of those inspections reportedly resulted in a revoked license.
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