Biden Administration Is Closing the ‘Gun Show Loophole’

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The Biden administration on Thursday announced that it is moving to close the so-called gun-show loophole in which people selling guns online, at shows, and other informal venues have been able to do so without conducting background checks on their customers.

The Justice Department said it has submitted a final rule to the federal register that will clarify what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling guns, meaning those who aren’t operating at brick-and-mortar stores will need to obtain federal licenses and perform background checks.

Where Mass Murderers’ Weapons of Choice Are Sold With a Smile

“Under this regulation, it will not matter if guns are sold on the internet, at a gun show, or at a brick-and-mortar store,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said, Reuters reports. “If you sell guns predominantly to earn a profit, you must be licensed, and you must conduct background checks.”

Once published, the rule will go into effect in 30 days. The Biden administration had first proposed the rule in August following the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022 following mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’ve spent hours with families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence. They all have the same message: ‘Do something,’” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “Today, my Administration is taking action to make sure fewer guns are sold without background checks. This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons. And my Administration is going to continue to do everything we possibly can to save lives.”

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