In a segment labeled “fiery,” Fox News pundit and former New Jersey judge Andrew Napolitano blasted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for keeping “a list of every gun owner and every gun owned.”
While there’s some truth to it, Napolitano took some creative liberties in his description of issues identified in a report published this week by the Government Accountability Office.
The report identified ATF compliance issues because the agency failed to delete information in two of four systems reviewed and said it had not fully adhered to its own policies.
While auditing the systems, GAO found that two systems complied with the Appropriations Act that prohibits the feds from keeping a searchable list of gun owners and the other two did not.
During GAO’s audit, it found that one system still had records from out-of-business gun dealers, which per federal law are required to be sent to the ATF.
The second system regarded multiple sales records. Licensed dealers are supposed to report to the ATF if two or more handguns are bought by one person within five consecutive business days. However, the ATF must delete the records after two years if the gun was not been connected to a crime. The audit found more than 10,000 names that were supposed to have been deleted.
Whether or not all ATF systems are compliant is still up for grabs. The audit only reviewed four of the 16 containing retail sales records.
Responding to auditors, ATF deleted the records after they were notified earlier this year. The agency also acknowledged the compliance issues and has taken action to better adhere to its policies.