Post Investigation: Gun stores with troubled pasts with Lawrence Keane from NSSF

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Lawrence G. Keane
Wednesday, December 15, 2010; 1:00 PM

Even when the ATF revokes a gun store's license for public safety violations, most remain open under different names. Lawrence Keane, senior vice president, assistant secretary and general counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., will be online to talk about the latest Post Investigation on how difficult it is to actually close down a gun store.

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Lawrence G. Keane: I am the SVP and General Counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which is the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry's trade association. I welcome the opportunity to participate in this chat

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Number and types of violations Inspectors see: Lawrence,I'm a Federally licensed firearms dealer (and, BTW, also a long time member of the NSSF) and as one would expect under go inspections periodically by BATF but have never had serious violations. The last inspection found one 4473 where I signed the 4473 prior to actually transferring the firearm (it was transferred the next day) and therefore was 'technically' in violation. The inspector said it was a common mistake but still wrote me up, which I didn't have a problem with, as I indeed made one error out of more than a 1000 records reviewed.While the Post took a year to review BATF records of revoked licenses the article did not disclose the number and types of violations that the BATF sees during all inspections. Can you provide some information along these lines so one can tell just how many clerical errors there are (like mine) vs. deliberate attempts to get around regulations?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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NRA vs. ATF: What would happen to the ATF if the NRA appointed their choice for Director? Is that not what they are trying to do?

Lawrence G. Keane: I don't agree with the premise of your question and obviously a private entity can't appoint a director.

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Big issues?: What do you think will be the biggest issue the NSSF will face in the coming year?

Lawrence G. Keane: We are urging congress to fund a comprehensive study by the National Academies of Science

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Gun safety: What are some of the most important lessons that can be taught about gun safety?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Other countries: Are there similar organizations like yours and the NRA in other countries? Are any as influencial as the ones in the U.S.?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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NRA: Do you believe the NRA and similar lobbyists have too much power as today's story seems to suggest?

Lawrence G. Keane: If they are "powerful" it is because they represent the will of most Americans and the polling data confirms that fact.

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microstamping: Would the NSSF consider funding a study of microstamping?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Straw Buyers and Don't Lie for the Other Guy: I have heard of the "Don't Lie for the Other Guy" and see such signs at gun stores, but it does not seem to stop straw buyers. This newspaper reports that many times straw buyers are not prosecuted. Has NSSF come up with model legislation that would make it easier to prosecute straw buyers while still preserving our civil rights? Seems to me prosecutors should be prosecuting straw buyers instead of gun stores.

Lawrence G. Keane: It is difficult to place a metric on the program -- how do you measure the event that never happened (the would be straw purchaser who heard the Don't Lie PSA and decided not to go into a gun store to straw purchase the firearm). Like efforts to reduce drunk driving, you are trying to reduce it but I don't think MADD, for example, thinks that their efforts will completely stop it.

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Same dealer or new dealer?: How can a dealer get a license after it has been revoked? Is the same dealer really "staying in business" or is it someone new?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Great to see NSSF input here: Thank you to the Post for having a NSSF participant. It seems the Post has been beating this gun store non-issue like a dead horse for months now. Given the anti-gun history of the newspaper and lack of firearm and gun store knowledge of many (most?) Post readers, I'm very glad to see you answering today's chat. The NSSF is a fantastic organization that supports the second amendment and other gun rights. My question: why do so many people (and groups such as the ACLU) who support constitutional protections for private citizens (such as the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments) find it so easy to ignore, or worse yet, assail the protections contained in the 2nd amendment? It's so obviously inconsistent and illogical to me. Regarding gun stores, I can think of no other retailers who have to keep such detailed records, nor comply with such stringent federal, state and local regulations.

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Export Controls - What's the Deal with those ROK M-1 Garands?: I see you are on the Defense Trade Advisory Group with the Department of State. What's the deal with the Republic of Korea's request to sell surplus M-1 Garands (Korean War-era semi-auto rifles which fire one bullet with one pull of the trigger) which was approved then subsequently denied by State? They also want to sell M-1 Carbines. Any chance us gun collectors will be able to buy these Korean War-era "relics and curio" class firearms? ROK sure could use the money raised to buy more modern genuine assault rifles.

Lawrence G. Keane: We have called for a congressional investigation of the matter.

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Many or few?: The Post seems to say that most dealers that have their licenses revoked are re-licensed but in their article they say that only 7% are re-licensed. Which is it? 7% or most?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Red's Trading Post - Is the Saga Over?: Sir, For a while I was following the saga of Red's Trading Post in Twin Falls, ID when ATF moved to revoke their license in 2007. Then an injunction was granted allowing them to remain open. Red's said they had a 99.6% success rate in a 2005 audit and that ATF "double counted" some violations. Is that case closed? Red's is still operating. Did the NSSF assist in his case?

Lawrence G. Keane:

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Lawrence G. Keane: Thanks again.


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