Washington Gun Law

Proposed ATF Rule Threatens Private Firearms Sales

Video Highlights

  • The ATF is proposing a new rule that will affect the ability to have access to firearms, specifically targeting private sales.
  • This rule aims to redefine who is considered a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder and requires anyone who sells a firearm to another private citizen to obtain a license.
  • The change in the law last year provides the ATF with a statutory basis to argue that anyone selling a firearm to another private citizen is acting as an FFL and needs a license.
  • There may be gaps in the language of the statute that allow the ATF to have firmer ground to stand on compared to previous rule-making orders.
  • The draft of the rules is expected to be released late this year or in the spring of 2024, with a comment period that may influence the final rule. Private sellers using third-party websites may be significantly affected if the rule goes into effect.

Video Summary

In a recent video on Gun Law TV, President William Kirk of Washington Gun Law discusses the Biden Administration's push for a new rule proposed by the ATF that could significantly impact private firearm sales. This rule, if implemented, would effectively shut down every private sale of a firearm, requiring all sales to go through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder. Kirk warns viewers that this is part of a larger effort to disarm civilians and restrict access to firearms.

The report initially broke on amaland.com, and Kirk commends the publication for its excellent coverage of Second Amendment rights. He highlights the ATF's previous rules on frames and receivers and firearms with stabilizing braces, both of which are currently facing legal challenges and likely to be overturned. However, the Biden Administration and the ATF are determined to continue their assault on gun rights, using private commerce as a means to restrict access to firearms.

Kirk explains that the proposed rule aims to redefine who qualifies as an FFL, expanding the definition to include anyone who sells a firearm to another private individual. This change is made possible by a recent amendment to 18 USC section 921 sub a, which alters the criteria for determining who is engaged in the business of being an FFL. Previously, the individual had to sell firearms with the primary objective of livelihood and profit, but now, the requirement is that the person predominantly earns a profit. This change allows the ATF to argue that anyone selling a firearm to another private citizen is acting as an FFL and thus requires a federal license.

While there are concerns about the vague language and potential loopholes in the statute, Kirk cautions that the ATF now has a stronger legal basis for implementing this rule compared to their previous efforts. He predicts that a draft of the rules may be released late this year or more realistically in the spring of 2024. There will be a comment period where individuals can voice their opinions, and Kirk emphasizes the importance of active engagement during this period, as seen with the stabilizing braces rule, which underwent significant changes due to public comments.

Kirk advises individuals who regularly engage in private sales through platforms like GunBroker to be aware that their days of conducting business in this manner may be numbered if the proposed rule goes into effect. He views this as yet another step towards civilian disarmament by the Biden Administration, the Department of Justice, and the ATF. Kirk promises to keep viewers updated on any further developments regarding this rule.

In conclusion, Kirk emphasizes the importance of understanding the law and how it applies to each individual in various situations. He encourages viewers to stay informed and stay safe as responsible gun owners.