The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives rarely revokes the licenses of gun dealers. When the agency acts, it typically follows years of warnings to correct violations and the process sometimes takes years to complete. Embattled businesses, however, have remained open in scores of cases by securing new licenses from ATF in the names of family members or associates. One Maryland shop that the agency fought to close for nearly two years was able to stay in business this way.
SOURCES: ATF documents, court records and Washington Post research | David Fallis and Cristina Rivero/The Washington Post - Dec. 14, 2010