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Gun Dealer Reform


Gun Dealer Reform

What does it solve?

Laws on how gun stores conduct their business have not been strengthened since the 1960s. Congress should pass comprehensive gun dealer reform.

Gun dealer reform should include requiring updated best practices for store security, record keeping, training, and ensuring that gun dealers who violate the law and endanger public safety can be swiftly held accountable. In addition, the federal agency that regulates gun dealers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), needs the resources and authority to protect the public.

Myth & Fact


There is nothing a gun dealer can do to stop a criminal from getting a gun.


Laws requiring record keeping, videotaping and store security, and regular inspection can help make sure gun dealers are not susceptible to straw purchasers or gun traffickers. Intrastate gun trafficking was 64% lower in places with strong gun dealer regulations and oversight.

How it works

Comprehensive gun dealer reform would help stop guns from getting into the wrong hands.

Gun dealers can stop firearms from getting into the wrong hands. They can do this with best practices in selling firearms and securing stores. Common-sense laws can ensure that all gun dealers are protecting the public and that gun dealers that ignore the law can be held accountable.

There are more than 60,000 gun dealers in the United States, and 99 percent of Americans live within ten miles of one. The laws regulating these sellers are outdated. The ATF—the federal agency responsible for regulating gun dealers—is under-resourced and hampered by restrictions written by the gun lobby.

As a result of these restrictions and shortage of resources, only a small number of gun sellers are inspected each year. A majority of these investigations reveal violations, though. These violations range from the failure to keep full and accurate inventory and failing to complete the required forms necessary for crime gun tracing, to a failure to conduct background checks. Additionally, gun dealers must be required to use security practices that will ensure they are not susceptible to theft.

By the numbers

You might be wondering…

  1. 1 Are most gun dealers law-abiding?