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Biden’s Department of Justice Has Some New Rules for Gun Dealers

Gun Rules
Smith & Wesson Revolver. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

DoJ Issued New Rules to Firearm Dealers: Running a gun shop is never easy, and as we enter a New Year, there are now additional procedures that shops must follow.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) kicked off the year by announcing a new rule it said was to help enable the safe and secure storage of firearms. In addition, the DoJ published a new Best Practices Guide for the federal firearms licensees (FFLs), while the new rule will implement the existing Gun Control Act (GCA) requirement that federal firearms licensees that sell firearms to the general public (non-licensees) must certify that they have available secure gun storage or safety devices.

“Today’s announcements build on the department’s efforts to reduce the risk of firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Monday. “Gun safety is a Department of Justice priority, and we will continue to take all appropriate steps to help reduce the number of people killed and injured by the misuse of firearms.”

The Justice Department has already submitted to the Federal Register for publication a final rule, which will take effect Feb. 3. It will essentially require that all FFLs certify that they have secure gun storage devices available to their customers for purchase. Secure gun storage or safety device, as defined by statute and regulation, could include a safe, gun safe, gun case, lock box or other device that is designed to be or can be used to store a firearm and that is designed to be unlocked only by means of a key, a combination or other similar means.

The DoJ noted that not all devices are compatible with varying types of firearms. Therefore, integral to the new rule is the requirement that FFLs have available secure gun storage options that are compatible with all of the firearms they are selling.

New Guidance from the ATF

The DoJ also noted the release of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Best Practices Guide for FFLs, which it touted as an important resource and reference guide about federal laws and regulations.

The Best Practices Guide encourages FFLs to provide customers with ATF publications to help firearms owners better understand their legal obligations, as well as practical steps they can take to help keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons and facilitate the safe storage of firearms.

It does address a number of important topics including how FFLs can assist unlicensed firearms owners in conducting background checks for private party transfers; compliance with the Youth Handgun Safety Act; records that all firearms owners should maintain that can assist law enforcement should an owner’s firearms ever be lost or stolen; and the legal consequences and public safety dangers of straw purchasing – which involves purchasing a gun for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one or for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction.

As superhero movies like to remind us, with great power comes great responsibility.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes

Written By

A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ron Jessing

    January 10, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Brilliant idea. This should cut crime down 50% or more in major cities. Bidet Biden at his best, so now he can take credit for eliminating crime.

  2. Jay E. Simkin

    January 12, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Background checks are a consumer fraud. The Feds rarely prosecute those who – being “prohibited” still try to acquire a firearm from a Federally-licensed dealer. The attempt violates 18 U.S. Code § 922 (a)(6). My conclusion is based on public and published sources, to which I cite.

    Only 62 Federal prosecutions followed 76,142 denials (in 2010) of purchase applicants. For the data see, Regional Justice Information Service, Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010, 2012, p. 7 https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/grants/239272.pdf .

    A Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report (No. 18-440, Sept., 2018) shows that of 112,090 denials by FBI screeners, only 12,710 were sent for “investigation”. Of that number only 12 resulted in prosecutions!! Plainly, far more than 12 denials were fully justified.

    It is a Federal felony for a “prohibited person” to possess or to try to acquire any firearm. So few prosecutions show that Federal authorities do little about stopping those, who seek to abuse firearms.

    As at end-2019, there were some 435,000,000 firearms in the U.S., so it seems reasonable to assume a denied person – determined to get a firearm – will do so. For the number of firearms see: U.S. Department of Justice, Firearms Commerce in the United States, 2000 and 2021; these data exclude military firearms. The U.S. at end-2020 had about 330,000,000 residents.

    Were even half of those properly denied to be prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys, they would have little time to prosecute other Federal crimes, e.g., espionage, securities fraud, drug trafficking, etc. See: U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report – Fiscal Year 2019, p. 4.

    It is thus clear that we’d have to hire a pile of prosecutors and build many new Federal prisons to hold those who are so determined to get a weapon, that they’ll risk a prison term. This needs to be done, if rampant violent criminals are to be curbed.

    In short, what many believe about background checks is simply not so.

  3. Art

    January 17, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    Too many lives are lost because some gun owner neglect to maintain control of their guns. Kids getting hold of guns unsupervised is always a bad idea. And yes, kids are going to look and will usually find the most carefully hidden guns. So under your pillow, in an unlocked glove compartment, or on top of the refrigerator should be considered as outright handing the child a gun.

    IMHO if a kid gets a gun and someone gets hurt, or killed, a charge of negligent wounding or homicide should follow automatically for the gun owner.

    I own guns. I have a CCL and routinely carry. I keep my guns well away from children. Typically on my person or locked up.

    I don’t see this rule change as making a big difference. But bit will be worth it if it saves some kid.

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