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GIFFORDS Applauds ATF Rule to Expand Background Checks

GIFFORDS has been instrumental in developing this policy and has pushed for it since 2013

Washington DC —GIFFORDS, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauds the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rule released today that will move us closer to universal background checks than we’ve ever been. The proposed rule clarifies that certain unlicensed individuals are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms and must conduct background checks. Currently, only ​​licensed gun dealers, those holding a Federal Firearms License (FFL), are required to conduct background checks, leaving a gaping loophole with respect to unlicensed sellers of firearms. Up to 80% of firearms used for criminal purposes were obtained from unlicensed sources, meaning no background check was required. This proposed rule will help address this dangerous problem and greatly expand background checks. 

Peter Ambler, Executive Director and Co-founder, GIFFORDS:

“In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the failure of the Manchin-Toomey bill in the Senate, GIFFORDS didn’t give up. Instead we looked for other ways to help ensure that guns are not sold without a background check. We first proposed this idea 10 years ago in 2013. We worked with the Obama and Biden administrations, and now we are finally seeing comprehensive executive action. President Biden is the strongest gun safety president we have ever seen. We applaud his administration and ATF Director Dettelbach for taking a giant step forward towards our goal of universal background checks.”



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