United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
KELVIN R. THOMAS d/b/a/ K&D PAWNSHOP
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS & EXPLOSIVES
ORDER AND REASONS
D. ENGELHARDT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is “Respondent's Motion for
Summary Judgment” (Rec. Doc. 13), filed by the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
(“ATF”). Petitioner, Kelvin R. Thomas d/b/a
K&D Pawnshop (“Thomas”), proceeding pro
se, opposes ATF's motion and has filed a memorandum
in opposition (Rec. Doc. 20), to which ATF has replied. (Rec.
Doc. 23). Having carefully considered the parties'
supporting and opposing submissions, the administrative
record, and the applicable law, IT IS ORDERED that ATF's
motion is GRANTED for the reasons stated herein.
instant matter arises out of ATF's revocation of
Thomas' federal firearms license due to his alleged
failure to comply with the statutory requirements of the Gun
Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. §§ 921-931
(“GCA”). Specifically, Thomas seeks review of
ATF's decision to revoke his federal firearms license
based upon ATF's finding that Thomas committed willful
violations of the GCA.
acquired his federal firearms license in 1992, and since he
acquired his license, ATF has conducted various compliance
inspections. (Rec. Doc. 13-1 at p. 2). For simplicity
purposes, ATF provided the Court with the following chart,
which details the timeline of ATF's compliance
inspections of Thomas, along with the findings and outcome of
such inspections, since he acquired his license:
October 28, 1994
3 violations (including failure to properly maintain
acquisition and disposition records and to properly
complete ATF Forms 4473)
Report of Violations and Warning Letter issued to
July 16, 1996
2 violations (12 instances of incorrectly completed
ATF 4473s and 13 instances of failure to attach ATF
Form 5300.35 to Form 4473)
Report of Violations issued to Petitioner
October 23, 2007
8 violations (including over 20 instances of either
incompletely or inaccurately filling out Form 4473s;
plus a like number of forms missing NICS
authorizations; multiple failures to maintain
Report of Violations issued to Petitioner;
Requirements reviewed with Petitioner who signed an
Acknowledgment of same; Warning conference
subsequently conducted with Petitioner
March 30, 2015
11 violations (3 of [which] were deemed willful: 2
sales to prohibited persons; 3 failures to obtain
NICS background checks; 3 transfers not recorded on
ATF Form 4473s)
Notice of Revocation, sustained after administrative
See Rec. Doc. 23. ATF's revocation of
Thomas' federal firearms license is based upon violations
discovered during the March 30, 2015 inspection, which ATF
alleges were mostly “repeats of errors/omissions Thomas
had previously committed.” (Rec. Doc. 13-1 at p. 13).
Specifically, following the March 30, 2015 inspection, ATF
issued a “Notice of Revocation” on August 21,
2015, which was based upon three of the eleven violations
cited at that particular inspection. Id. at p. 5.
After Thomas submitted a timely request for a hearing to
contest ATF's revocation of his license, a hearing was
held on November 17, 2015, in accordance with 18 U.S.C.
§ 923(f)(2) and 27 C.F.R. § 478.74. Id. at
considering the documentary evidence and testimony at the
hearing, the hearing officer, Claude Maraist
(“Maraist”), submitted a report to the ATF
Director, Industry Operations (“DIO”), Mathew
Wren (“Wren”), in which he concluded that Thomas
had willfully violated federal firearms laws. Id.
Wren then issued a “Final Notice of Revocation”
on January 22, 2016. Id. Ultimately, Wren concluded
that Thomas committed three willful violations of the GCA:
1) Transfer in Violation of Law The Licensee, by and
through its agents and employees, willfully sold or delivered
a firearm on approximately two occasions to persons he knew
or had reasonable cause to believe were subject to Federal
firearms disabilities, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(d)(1) and 27 C.F.R. §478.99(c).
2) Background Check Violations
The Licensee, by and through its agents and employees,
willfully transferred a firearm to an unlicensed person on
three occasions, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922(t) and
27 C.F.R. §478.102(a).
3) ATF Form 4473 Violations
The Licensee, by and through its agents and employees,
willfully sold or otherwise disposed of a firearm to an
unlicensed person without recording the transaction on a
firearms transaction record, ATF Form 4473, on approximately
three occasions, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §923(g)(1)(A)
and 27 C.F.R. §478.124(a).
Id. at p. 7. Following the “Final Notice of
Revocation, ” Thomas filed a complaint in this Court
seeking review of ATF's decision. Thereafter, ATF filed
the instant motion for summary judgment.
motion for summary judgment, ATF argues that it is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Rule 56 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because Thomas willfully
violated GCA provisions, subjecting him to the revocation of
his federal firearms license. Id. at p. 1. ATF
maintains that the revocation of a federal firearms license
is subject to de novo review pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 923(f). Id. at p. 9. ATF further postures
that an evidentiary hearing, which is not required in order
for a court to grant summary judgment, is unnecessary under
these circumstances because Thomas does not dispute the
factual basis for revocation, nor does Thomas allege with
particularity any facts that would cast substantial doubt on
any of ATF's findings. Id. at p. 10. ATF argues
that the issues for this Court to consider are ...