The federal gun regulatory agency took the rare step of revoking the license of an U.S. gun manufacturer, a win for a gun control group that has dogged the company tied to illegal trafficking of cheap guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives acknowledged in court Wednesday that it would revoke the license of Nevada-based JA Industries, LLC, a reorganization of Jimenez Arms, which has long had the attention of Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that advocates gun control, USA Today reports. Kansas City filed a lawsuit against Jimenez Arms in 2020, alleging the pistol manufacturer created a public nuisance by fueling illegal gun trafficking in the city with low quality zinc alloy pistols that can retail for $150. Jimenez declared bankruptcy shortly after the suit was filed, then quickly obtained a new federal firearm license for the same owners in the same city. That prompted extraordinary actions by Everytown, which bought up the entire inventory of Jimenez pistols and gun frames at a bankruptcy auction and had them destroyed.
The group then filed a lawsuit along with Kansas City and the state of Illinois against ATF for awarding the new company a license, a suit that led to Wednesday's action. It alleged that because of false statements to the ATF and the unlawful shipment of guns to a gun trafficker, Jimenez was disqualified from holding an federal firearms license. From 2014 to 2018, the Kansas City Police Department recovered, seized or held as evidence at least 166 Jimenez Arms guns. “I think this is an undisputed important step toward shutting down a manufacturer that flouted federal law and facilitated gun trafficking,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown. “It shouldn’t have taken three lawsuits to get ATF to do its job. I can only hope this marks a beginning of a new era at ATF where it starts to serve as a watchdog of the American people rather than a lapdog to the gun industry.”