Biden, ATF restrict private gun sales

New final rule will classify many private sales as ‘unlicensed dealing

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Wednesday, April 10, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced their new final rule which will heavily restrict the private sale of firearms.  
The new final rule sets firmer guidelines on who is required to obtain a Federal Firearms License to sell firearms.
Previously, only those who were “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms, such as the owners of brick-and-mortar gun stores, were required to obtain an FFL to sell firearms.
For each gun purchase, FFL holders are required to run a federal background check, and the purchaser must fill out ATF Form 4473 and have their background check approved before leaving the store with the firearm.
FFL holders are also required to keep those 4473 forms on file.
The FFL requirement was first implemented in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which also dictates that FFL holders can only sell firearms at their place of business.
Currently, private citizens are not required to run background checks on private sales, unless those sales happen frequently enough or in large enough quantities to qualify as “dealing” under the ATF’s standards.
The penalty for unlicensed dealing is up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or a combination of both.  
The new rule sets stricter standards on what qualifies someone as being “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, which would require them to have an FFL and run background checks on each sale.
The final rule was made possible by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which went into effect in 2022 and opened the door for expanded background check requirements, red flag laws and other gun control measures.
On April 11, the Biden administration released an official statement explaining its intent for the new final rule.
 “The final rule makes clear when a person needs to become a licensed dealer and run background checks, and gives the Department of Justice additional tools to crack down on individuals illegally selling guns without background checks,” the statement reads.
The new final rule lists types of activities that will now require an FFL.
“For example, if a person is repetitively selling guns of the same or similar make and model within one year of their purchase, they are supposed to become a licensed dealer,” the statement says. “If a person repetitively sells firearms within thirty days of purchasing those firearms, or selling firearms and telling potential buyers that they can acquire additional firearms for that buyer to purchase, the seller is supposed to become a licensed dealer.”
The statement also explicitly states the final rule is shutting down what some have referred to as the “gun show loophole.”
“If you are conducting business that in a brick-and-mortar store would require you to become a licensed dealer, you have to become a licensed dealer and run background checks,” the statement continues. “It does not matter whether you are dealing firearms at a gun show, online, in your home, in the trunk of a car, at a flea market or anywhere else—you must obtain a license and run background checks results…

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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