Gun Dealer’s License Revoked Due to Prior Domestic Violence Charge

Bruce L. Jennings, a Nevada handgun distributor, will lose his firearms license due to past domestic violence charges. His business, B.L. Jennings, Inc., which sells tens of thousands of handguns annually, has made him a multi-millionaire.

In 1985, Jennings was convicted on domestic violence charges for assaulting his wife and breaking her jaw. His case was plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor charge. As a result, Jennings’ punishment was lax. He spent only 90 days in jail, paid a fine, and was on probation for two years.

Congress passed a law in 1996 that made it illegal for convicted domestic violence felons to “ship, transport, possess or receive firearms or ammunition.” The legislation applies individuals who were convicted before the law was instituted.

Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, Jennings’ license was renewed last year. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), which issues gun licenses, commented “We’ve sent a notice of the revocation of his license. There is still an active investigation.”

It is reported that the ATF has neither the technology nor the manpower to do background checks on all people who apply for firearms. They increasingly depend on the honesty of applicants, who may lie about their criminal records on the forms. The ATF rejects applications from domestic violence offenders, drug abusers, illegal aliens, and anyone under a restraining order for stalking.


Washington Post - July 17, 1999

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