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Justice Department Issues New Rule to Revise Definition of “Engaged in the Business” as a Firearms Dealer

A Gun (Credits: The Yonkers Ledger)

The Justice Department has announced the submission of the “Engaged in the Business” Final Rule to the Federal Register. This rule clarifies when a person is considered “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, requiring them to obtain a federal firearms license and conduct background checks.

The goal is to enhance compliance with federal background check requirements for firearm sales by Federal firearms licensees and, lastly, contribute to efforts to combat gun violence and save lives.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland emphasized that under this regulation, selling guns for profit, whether online, at gun shows, or in physical stores, necessitates a federal license and background checks.

This regulation is seen as a historic step in the Justice Department’s fight against gun violence and is expected to have a considerable impact on public safety.

Gun (Credits: CBS News)

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco praised the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which enhanced background checks and closed loopholes related to firearms dealing.

The Final Rule clarifies the application of the definition of engaging in the business of firearms dealing as outlined in the BSCA, ensuring that those selling guns for profit must obtain a federal license and conduct background checks.

Director Steven Dettelbach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) highlighted the importance of this Final Rule in ensuring compliance with existing laws and preventing the illegal sale of firearms. The rule addresses concerns about unlicensed dealing in weapons, which can fuel violence and pose giant public safety risks.

Hand Gun (Credits: CNN)

The Final Rule aligns ATF regulations with the revised definition of engaging in the business of firearms dealing under the BSCA. It also clarifies when a federal firearms license is required, including defining “personal firearms collection” to protect genuine hobbyists and collectors from inadvertently violating the law.

Additionally, the rule outlines procedures for licensees when they go out of business, ensuring accountability and proper handling of firearm inventories.

Finally, the Final Rule aims to strengthen the enforcement of firearms laws, increase compliance with background check requirements, and promote public safety by preventing firearms from ending up in the hands of prohibited individuals or fueling illegal activities.

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