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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Applaud ATF’s Proposed Rule Closing Gun Seller Loophole

August 31, 2023

Following March Executive Action from Biden-Harris Administration, ATF Proposed Rule Moves United States Closer to Universal Background Checks

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) turned President Biden’s clear, strong executive action on background checks into action, issuing a life-saving new proposed rule that will expand background checks to individuals who engage in commercial sales of firearms. In response, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements:

“We’re grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and ATF for making good on their commitment to set a common-sense standard: If you’re offering guns for sale online or at a gun show then you’re presumed to be trying to make a profit, and you need to run background checks on your customers,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Closing the gun seller loophole will significantly expand background checks on gun sales, keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, and ultimately save lives. We intend to submit formal comments on this proposal and urge ATF to finalize this rule as quickly as possible.” 

“For years, gun sellers have exploited a loophole in the law to avoid conducting background checks online and at gun shows. Thankfully, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act gave the Biden-Harris Administration the tools to close this deadly loophole — and today they’ve started to deliver,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “We’re thankful to President Biden and Vice President Harris for continuing to lead on gun safety and using every tool at their disposal to keep families and communities safe.”

Among other things, ATF’s new proposed rule makes it clear that anyone who offers a gun for sale at a gun show or pursuant to an advertisement — including online ads — is presumptively engaged in the business of selling guns and needs to run background checks. This clarification will accomplish the President’s goal, be legally permissible, and tackle the commercial marketplaces that are the source of firearms for felons, domestic abusers and gun traffickers that are seeking to avoid background checks.

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