ATF justified in revoking gun maker’s license, judge says

A judge sided against a small Maryland gun maker who had his license revoked for sloppy record keeping after he petitioned the court to review his case.

Richard Creager, owner of Frederick Arsenal, asked the court last year to review the revocation of his operators license by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

ATF pulled his license after an inspection in 2013 revealed that he failed to properly maintain his Acquisitions and Disposition Book — something that’s required of licensees per the Gun Control Act of 1968.

“(Creager) failed to keep required records for more than a year … and in that time conducted more than 100 transactions under his manufacturer’s license,” says U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander in her opinion issued March 18. “Yet, he understood his obligations under the law to maintain the A&D Book, as he had done historically.”

Per federal law, records are supposed to be updated by the close of the next business day following the purchase or acquisition of a firearm, and no later than seven days following the sale or disposition of a firearm.

The judge adds that Creager was not given multiple warnings or citations but “the GCA does not require such flexibility.”

Since obtaining a manufacturer’s license in 2000, the ATF inspected him three times. Additionally, he’s held a dealer’s license since 1990, which had also been revoked.

According to the opinion, ATF inspectors found Creager’s A&D book at his shop during the 2013 inspection, but he had not made an entry since Dec. 31, 2009. Creager told inspectors he had records saved on his computer at home, but he was unable to bring the computer in or print anything out.

Later, at a 2015 hearing, he said he thought computer records were acceptable, according to the opinion. However, the judge points out that he never made them available to ATF inspectors.