Senator Marshall Leads Letter To ATF Targeting Kansas Firearm License Holders

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. wrote a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach expressing concern for the conduct and intent of ATF agents auditing Kansas firearm license holders. Many federal firearms license (FFL) holders in Kansas have documented instances where ATF agents have revoked their licenses over several unintentional filing errors. Senator Marshall’s letter urges ATF agents to find ways to work with Kansas gun owners to correct clerical errors and keep them in business. 

Senator Marshall was joined in his letter by Kansas delegation members Tracey Mann (KS-01), Ron Estes (KS–04), and Jake LaTurner (KS-02).

Full text of Senator Marshall’s letter:

Dear Director Dettelbach,

We write today on behalf of the more than 1,300 Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders in the State of Kansas expressing concern for the conduct and prerogative of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents auditing Kansas license holders. ATF agents operating in Kansas seem to have strayed from the agency’s own mission to “partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public . . .,”[1] and is instead jeopardizing the Second Amendment rights of Kansans through hostile and aggressive enforcement actions leading to the unnecessary closures of family-owned gun retailers across the state. 

Many Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders in Kansas have documented instances where ATF agents are revoking the businesses’ licenses over several unintentional filing errors during a year when they legally and successfully processed thousands of applications to purchase firearms. In past years, the ATF has worked with business owners under similar circumstances to correct these few unintentional errors without incident. The ATF’s goal when working with FFL holders should be to help them comply with the law – not to eliminate these small businesses for minor clerical errors. 

As was reported in February 2023, according to leaked ATF documents[2], your agents have received guidance that the agency “has zero tolerance for willful violations that greatly affect public safety and ATF’s ability to trace firearms recovered in violent crimes” and that “revocation” of the FFL’s license “is the assumed action” with violations. We remain hard-pressed to understand how an unintentional clerical error meets the definition of a willful violation that greatly affects the public’s safety. 

Over the last 12 months, more than a dozen FFL holders have contacted our offices after several attempts to work with ATF agents to correct clerical errors and update practices and procedures. Our staffs have attempted to seek clarification from AFT agents regarding the business owners’ concerns and questions with zero response from the agency and field staff.  

As members of the U.S. Congress, it is our duty and obligation to uphold our nation’s constitution. The Second Amendment gives all Americans the right to bear arms. We urge you and your agents to find ways to work with our FFL holders to correct clerical errors and help them understand how to accurately complete the forms and necessary paperwork for legal weapons purchases. We should be encouraging legal arms sales, not punishing them. 

To make that possible for all Kansans, no matter their location, we must ensure our FFL holders remain open and operational whenever possible. Shuttering these businesses not only limits access to firearms but destroys a Main Street business and in many cases, ends a long-standing family-owned company. 


Roger Marshall, M.D.

United States Senator

Tracey Mann

United States Representative

Jake LaTurner

United States Representative

Ron Estes

United States Representative
You may click HERE to read Senator Marshall’s full letter.