Whenever a new Democratic president assumes office, there is a prevalent apprehension regarding potential firearm regulation. This apprehension tends to influence firearm sales, as observed in the case of President Joe Biden’s initial year in office, during which a higher number of individuals purchased firearms compared to the administrations of the two preceding presidents. Currently, speculations are circulating once more regarding the likelihood of increased restrictions on firearms.
As part of a bipartisan gun regulation enacted in 2022, a particular provision involves the extension of background checks for private firearm sales. According to federal regulations, individuals selling firearms are obligated to conduct background checks on purchasers only if the transaction occurs through an ATF-licensed business establishment.
However, individuals selling guns online, at gun exhibitions, or from their residences were not previously required to conduct these checks on buyers. This regulatory gap, commonly referred to as the “gun show loophole,” has raised concerns over an extended period.
The anticipated guidelines outlined in the legislation, which encompass widened background checks, are set to be unveiled in the near future. These regulations necessitate that individuals engaged in gun sales perform background checks and acquire a federal selling license. Failure to comply with registration could result in penalties such as a fine of $250,000 and a potential prison sentence of five years for the seller.
The objective of the legislation is to address existing gaps, although critics contend that it will subject online firearm vendors such as GunBroker.com and Armslist to regulation. Jonathan Gibbon, the originator of Armslist, conveyed his thoughts on the new law to AmmoLand News, criticizing the government’s characterization of private gun sales as a “loophole.” He emphasized that the act of selling and purchasing firearms is an entrenched right guaranteed by the Second Amendment. He further asserted that the expansion of background checks might intrude upon state-level regulations.
Once all the regulations are delineated, there is reportedly an intention to take stricter measures against businesses that refuse to comply with the modifications. Amidst speculations about the administration’s potential focus on firearms, it is conceivable that the president might instruct the ATF to target private sales. However, whether this scenario will materialize remains uncertain.