The Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives(ATF) recently leaked its Industry Operations Manual online. This document was obtained by Ammoland, though they did not explain how they got their hands on it.
The Industry Operations Manual is an internal document for Industry Operation Inspectors (IOIs) to use while conducting inspections on Federal Firearm Licensees(FFLs). IOIs are not ATF special agents and cannot carry out arrests or raids on FFLs. These individuals are ATF employees who audit FFL records and inspect gun stores.
While this document might not seem like a big deal, it is. The ATF has increased the amount of FFL revocations in the past few years(as much as 500%) and this leaked document might be the key to saving a gun store near you. FFLs will be able to use this document during an investigation to ensure that IOIs are following proper procedure and may be able to fight back against a revocation if they are not following that procedure.
There are also all sorts of little gems in this document for the general public. One policy that many are pointing out is the ATF’s policy regarding IOIs’ ability to carry firearms, or rather their inability to carry.
The ATF mandates that IOIs must not carry firearms while performing inspections or doing other tasks related to their work. IOIs with concealed carry permits are also not allowed to carry firearms at work and they are not even allowed to leave them in their vehicles.
This little note from the rule book could be key to saving gun stores across the country. Then again, do ATF pencil pushers carry guns? Just a thought…