New Rule Requiring License, Background Checks For Gun Dealers ProposedSeptember 8, 2023
The Justice Department has announced a proposed rule that makes a license mandatory for gun dealers to sell firearms and requires officers to complete the background checks on buyers.
The detailed rules, released by the Justice Department, would clarify the circumstances in which a person is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms and thus required to obtain a license and run background checks.
The proposed rule would amend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations “by conforming ATF’s regulations to the new BSCA definition and further clarifying the conduct that presumptively requires a license under that revised definition”.
Under the proposed rule, gun dealers are required to obtain a license and run background checks. The law is also applicable to those who buy and sell firearms at gun shows and over the Internet.
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed by Congress to reduce gun violence, including by expanding the background checks that keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This proposed rule implements Congress’s mandate to expand the definition of who must obtain a license and conduct a background check before selling firearms.”
An increasing number of individuals engaged in the business of selling firearms for profit have chosen not to register as federal firearms licensees, as required by law.
“This new proposed rule would clarify the circumstances in which a person is ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing in firearms, and thus required to obtain a license and follow the laws Congress has established for firearms dealers,” said ATF Director Steven Dettelbach.
This rule is a significant step toward reducing the percentage of firearms sold for profit without background checks. It builds on the Biden Administration’s actions to combat the epidemic of gun violence.
President Joe Biden announced a number of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of a series of mass shootings that shocked the country.
Since 1994, federal law has required federally licensed firearms dealers to run background checks before selling or transferring a weapon. These background checks have helped keep guns out of the hands of more than three million felons, convicted domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals, according to the White House. However, despite the law, individuals who should be licensed dealers have refused to obtain a license, skirting the background check requirement.
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