Department of Justice Seeks to Redefine “Engaged in Business” to Expand Gun Control
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a proposed rule change by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that would expand when a person is “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms to include all persons who “devote time, attention and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business” for profit through repetitive sales of firearms. This regulation, which would be enforced would close the so-called “gun show loophole” which allows individuals to sell firearms without conducting the necessary background checks and/or requiring a license to sell firearms. DOJ officials defended the proposed rule stating that it is not a new regulation but merely, “reinforces and makes clear that there is no gun show loophole, there is no internet loophole recognized under federal law. Instead, a gun dealer must obtain a license and run background checks” before selling firearms.
GOP Lawmakers Urge Immediate Withdrawal of Proposed Rule
Several republican senators have voiced their opposition to the proposed rule change, believing it to infringe on individuals Second Amendment Rights. The senators claim that the rule change would impact all sales of firearms, essentially requiring universal background checks, and many individuals could be subject to criminal charges as a result of the changes in the future. “Make no mistake — Congress has not authorized the creation of a universal background check system, but that isn’t stopping anti-Second Amendment ATF bureaucrats from trying to create that power for themselves.” Kentucky Senator Riger Marshall stated. The public has 90 days from the date of the announcement to comment on the proposed rule. In either case, this is another signal that the federal government is taking aims to regulate the gun industry and could lead to criminal charges for those who do not abide by the expanded definition.