UPDATED: Is the BATF trying to seize records? Probably not…

UPDATED: While I have not been able to reach John Shupp in order to speak directly.  Here is what I have heard as to an understanding of what happened.

John Shupp had been moving toward part time gunsmithing/gun sales. BATF apparently has started inspecting 01 FFLs annually.

For a guy doing gunsmithing/selling only part-time….it just didn’t make sense to him.. He did say that he would like to continue with the gunsmithing and that his son may wish to ‘start the business up again’ in the future so he is keeping his options open.

From this, it appears that the added hassles and costs from the BATF led John Shupp to decide not to maintain his 01FFL.  And seek to switch to just a gunsmithing license.

I was told the “BATFE wanted his records AFTER he decided to not renew his FFL.” My guess is they probably arrived before his license had expired.  And they probably view the change of license type as the cessation of a business.

So this seems to lessen the intensity portrayed in the circulating letter below.  It does lead to a couple of other questions however.

1. Are the changes in BATF’s FFL policies leading to smaller shops being forced to close. Shops that focus more on gun-smithing with  few sales do not seem to be the culprits in illegal gun sales. And would seem to me, to be a waste of the BATF’s energies.

2. Is an increase in BATF inspections, toward an annual basis,  simply the visible signs of the BATF’s creation of a de facto gun registry. While those files are supposedly just being scanned and stored on microfilm. One must note that it is extremely easy to process records these days with scanning/OCR technology.


Today I received an extremely disturbing email. Which describes a local event in which the BATF has endeavored to seize an FFL’s records for their own use. There is no mention of charges or infractions. Was the FFL late in renewing? I don’t know but will endeavor to find out. But if not, this is extremely disturbing.

The BATF does have the right to inspect records (e.g. for compliance checks, for investigations, etc). But I do not believe the BATF has the right to collect an FFLs records prior the FFL closing their doors.

Whether this information is accurate or not, I don’t know. A comment from PAFOA stated:

“I also just found out that John @ Shupp’s Gunsmithing is closed. He hopes to reorganize and open as strictly gunsmith, but no more sales. ATF has simply put too many restrictions on him and his time. Very difficult time for him. He has been in business for 26years.”

Below is the content of the email. I hope to contact Shupp’s shop tomorrow and try to better ascertain what events transpired. Whether the BATF attempted to collect records prior to an FFL closing it’s doors, whether there was harassment, and if this portends of a greater trend of harassing smaller FFLs out of business.


Gun Owner Alert!

On Saturday morning April 2nd I went to visit a friend who is a gunsmith and gun dealer. When I got there there was a note on the door that he had decided not to renew his FFL license. I thought this was a very abrupt decision for he was in business for over 27 years.

Last night I visited with him to pick-up two of my Colt semi’s that he was selling for me. I felt it adviseable to get my guns. He related to me that one day the ATF visited him at the business and told him that it was time for him to renew his FFL license. He told them that he was in the process of doing so. They then advised him that in order for him to renew his FFL he would have to turn over his 27 years of records. He told them he would like to think about it for a couple of days.

He did not feel it right to turn over 27 years of his records in order to renew so he informed them he would not be renewing. They informed him that they wanted the 27 years of records anyway which they took and are putting on microfilm. They plan to destroy the original records when they complete the microfilming. The ATF was elated that he was not renewing. They boasted of closing one dealership a year in York County.

To me this is the first step for the gestapo to have all the records in the York county area of gun owners. They told him he can close his business and reopen it in a year by starting fresh. You know damned well that the parameters will not be the same as before.

If we thought this was not going to happen to us you had better think twice. He asked the ATF if they ever had any problems with his business in the past and they told him none. He asked them what he should do with the 300 guns he has and they said just sell them to another dealer. Just like that! After 27 years of flawless business they have forced him out of business. The legal fees to fight this would be enormous.

It’s happening here. The gestapo will have your recrds so they can confiscate your guns when the time is right. You better believe that is what is coming next!

I have dealt with John Shupp for 17 years and he had always been great to do business with and to work with. John handled our FFL needs for the formation of the White Rose Friends of NRA and served with us at the dinners for ten years.

I have visited Congressman Todd Platts’ office this morning. I plan to contact Pat Toomey and Bob Casey and also the NRA ILA and urge everyone to do so. There is no room for complacency in this situation. This is the beginning and we have to rally to keep our freedom and our rights!

Shupp’s Gunsmithing
3502 Druck Valley Rd.
York, PA 17406


Darwin Doll
NRA Life Member

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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