The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a notice revoking the license of gun manufacturer J.A. Industries, Everytown for Gun Safety announced in a statement Wednesday.
The nonprofit gun safety organization called the move a “first-of-its-kind victory.”
In January 2020, Kansas City, Illinois and Everytown for Gun Safety sued the ATF for granting J.A. Industries a firearms license. The lawsuit alleged that the ATF conducted a deficient investigation before granting the license in a pattern of what they said was lax oversight by the federal agency.
The ATF denied 0.1% of applications received between 2016-2020.
During the case, the ATF re-inspected J.A. Industries and determined the license should be revoked. The gun manufacturer has 15 days to challenge the notice and request a hearing before the license is revoked.
“We can only hope this decision marks the beginning of a new era at ATF, one that is consistent with President Biden’s commitment to holding rogue and reckless members of the gun industry accountable for breaking the law and putting lives in danger,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “After decades of serving as the gun industry’s lapdog, it’s time for ATF to do its job and be the American people’s watchdog.”
According to the lawsuit, Jimenez Arms, the predecessor to J.A. Industries, repeatedly broke federal firearms law which contributed to gun trafficking and criminal activity in Illinois and Kansas City.
“I am proud today the ATF has taken bold action to stop the flow of illegal firearms into Kansas City,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “Jimenez Arms has caused significant harm to our community, leading to homicides, violent crime, and a number of shootings. Today’s decision is an important one for Kansas City, for the State of Missouri, and for our country.”
In early 2020, Kansas City sued Jimenez Arms alleging the gun manufacturer, along with firearms businesses and individuals, formed a trafficking ring that provided guns to known felons. That year became the deadliest on record for homicides in Kansas City.
The lawsuit was dropped when the gun manufacturer declared bankruptcy. Jimenez Arms was soon re-established under the name J.A. Industries.