The A.T.F. revoked J.A. Industries’ license after a gun control group filed a lawsuit accusing the company of falsifying information and neglecting evidence of its weapons being sold to criminal groups.
The federal government has revoked the license of a Nevada-based firearms manufacturer.
According to The Associated Press, the company was once accused of illegally selling firearms. After facing an investigation, it declared bankruptcy and rebranded itself as J.A. Industries.
However, several state attorneys general and city prosecutors announced a lawsuit against J.A. Industries earlier this week.
The complaint, says The Associated Press, was headed by Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; and gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—a law enforcement under the Justice Department—had awarded a license to J.A. Industries.
However, J.A. Industries had previously been named Jimenez Firearms, which was accused of violating federal weapons statutes and contributing to gun violence in Chicago and Kansas City.
The Associated Press notes that Kansas City and Everytown for Gun Safety had already launched lawsuits against Jimenez Firearms and several other weapons dealers. In their initial complaint, Kansas City and Everytown said that Jimenez and its counterparts intentionally ignored evidence that their products were being sold illegally.
Jimenez Firearms filed for bankruptcy a month after the lawsuit was filed.
Now, Illinois, Kansas City, and Everytown say that the company’s owner, Paul Jimenez, applied for a new license under the name J.A. Industries.
Despite the company’s embroilment in federal litigation, the A.T.F. apparently failed to check the owner’s background and credentials, issuing J.A. Industries less than a month to award a new license.
According to the lawsuit, Paul Jimenez convinced the A.T.F. to issue him a fresh license by making false statements to federal officials and concealing his alleged involvement with a firearms trafficker—offenses that should have made him and his company ineligible for another license.
While the lawsuit against J.A. Industries is still pending, Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt has praised the government’s decision to preemptive revoke the company’s license.
“We can only hope this decision marks the beginning of a new era at A.T.F., 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,” Feinblatt said in a statement.
A.T.F. spokesperson Erik Longnecker declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said that the agency “revokes Federal firearms licensees who are found to have committed willful violations of the Gun Control Act and have an adverse impact on public safety.”