Court Upholds Revocation Of Federal Firearms License Of Adams County Gun Dealer
Peter J. Smith, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Essam Rabadi, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Philadelphia Field Division jointly announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the revocation of the Federal Firearms License (FFL) of Scott W. Taylor, d/b/a Taylor’s Trading Post, located in Biglerville, Pennsylvania.
In early 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a compliance inspection of Taylor’s business, which was operated out of his home in Biglerville. ATF discovered that over a three-year period of time, Taylor had committed more than 10,000 violations of the Gun Control Act, which requires firearm dealers to keep detailed and timely records of the purchase and sale of firearms.
Law enforcement relies on these records to apprehend criminals who use firearms to commit crimes and to ensure that firearms are not being sold to persons not authorized to possess them.
Despite buying and selling thousands of guns over that three-year period, Taylor failed to record the purchase of 5,715 firearms, the sale of 2,856 firearms, and keep records of the disposition of 1,618 additional firearms – with about 160 of the firearms remaining unaccounted for. Taylor also admitted to possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, which he knew was illegal and failing to report it to law enforcement.
As a result of the large volume of guns that Taylor never recorded, it took nine months and the assistance of additional ATF agents to complete the compliance inspection. Ultimately, in November 2011, ATF revoked Taylor’s Federal Firearms License. Taylor challenged this administrative action claiming his three-year failure to comply with the record requirements had not been willful.
U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, adopted findings resulting from a hearing before Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson in which the violations were found to be willful because Taylor admitted he knew the law required him to keep the records and had kept the records in the past, but then failed to keep the records for three years while he continued to buy and sell thousands of guns each year.
Taylor appealed his license revocation to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals claiming that his three-year failure to record firearm sales and purchases were not willful. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the facts established that there was “no question that Taylor violated the [Gun Control Act]” and that his violations were “willful.” As a result of this ruling, Taylor remains unable to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.
This case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kate L. Mershimer of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF Associate Chief Counsel Jeffrey A. Cohen and ATF Division Counsel J. Kevin White.