PAIGE ROUX: Federal government to make background checks for firearms stricter

On Wednesday, the federal government unveiled plans to implement stricter background check requirements for firearms as a follow-up to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, signed into law in June 2022.

Under the new rule implemented by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the definition of a person who is “engaged in the business” will be broadened to require background checks for firearm transactions outside of gun stores, such as on social media or at gun shows.

Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized the importance of the regulation, stating, “Under this regulation, it will not matter if guns are sold on the internet, at a gun show, or at a brick-and-mortar store: if you sell guns predominantly to earn a profit, you must be licensed, and you must conduct background checks.”

The new rule is estimated to affect approximately 23,000 unlicensed firearm dealers.

The rule stems from a proposal put forth by the Justice Department last year, aimed at closing perceived “loopholes” that allow firearms to be purchased without undergoing a background check. It builds upon the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which expanded federal gun control authorities’ ability to crack down on firearm dealers. 

While the move has garnered support from gun control advocates, Second Amendment proponents have continually raised concerns about the constitutionality of policies such as this one, as well as the push for so-called “universal background checks.”

“Not only are Universal Background Checks (UBCs) ineffective, they punish ordinary people by preventing otherwise lawful transfers to friends, family, and employees,” says Firearm Policy Coalition, a Second Amendment rights organization.

“UBCs would require all transfers, even just loaning a gun temporarily, to go through a federal firearms licensee (FFL), also imposing significant costs. This is especially problematic in rural areas where the nearest licensee may be several hours away.”

However, a senior White House official defended the regulation, asserting its legality and alignment with the Second Amendment.

“We have confidence that this is legal. And strong regulations like this one are not in conflict with the Second Amendment,” stated the official, as reported by NPR. “There’s every reason that it should go forward.”

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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