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GUN LOBBY LIES TO LOOK OUT FOR IN CONGRESS TODAY: Rep. Jim Jordan’s Hearing on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government” 


WASHINGTON — Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is holding a hearing centering on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). MAGA extremists on the committee will undoubtedly continue their attack on ATF’s newly finalized rule which makes clear that individuals who engage in commercial sales of firearms must get dealer licenses and run background checks. Extremists have claimed this life-saving rule is a “naked power grab” — but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are the facts: 

  • For years, gun sellers have exploited a loophole in the law to avoid getting dealer licenses and conducting background checks on gun buyers — the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) gave the Biden-Harris Administration the tools to help close the deadly online and gun show loophole.
    • This lifesaving bill was supported by 14 House Republicans and 15 Republican senators.
  • For decades, those who have been “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms have been required to get a federal firearms license. Neither BSCA nor the rule created this requirement. 
  • For decades, “engaging in the business” of dealing in firearms without a license has been a prosecutable crime under federal law. Neither BSCA nor the rule created this crime.
  • Prior to BSCA, the law was unclear on what kinds of conduct required someone selling guns to obtain a license, creating widespread confusion about what might prompt enforcement action, including prosecution.
  • To implement BSCA’s changes, ATF finalized a rule that updates existing regulations to match Congress’ new “engaged in the business” standard. Neither BSCA nor ATF’s “engaged in the business” rule prevents anyone who wants to sell guns from selling them.
    • Law-abiding gun owners who want to sell guns are able to do so under both federal law and this rule. The rule simply makes clear which sellers must get a dealer license.
  • Congress has directed ATF to implement and enforce federal gun laws to protect the public from violent crime, and that is exactly what ATF has done with BSCA through this rule.
    • ATF did so by following the proper rulemaking process—just like any other agency acting under the authority granted to it by Congress.