NATIONAL NEWS

Biden administration proposes rule that would require more firearms dealers to run background checks

Aug 31, 2023, 10:28 AM

FILE - President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive...

FILE - President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach speaks during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 11, 2022. The Biden administration is proposing a new rule that would require thousands more firearms dealers to run background checks, in an effort to combat rising gun violence nationwide. Background checks help prevent guns from being sold to people convicted of crimes, teenagers and others who are legally blocked from owning them, said ATF Director Steve Dettelbach. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is proposing a rule that would require thousands more firearms dealers to run background checks, in an effort to combat rising gun violence nationwide.

bipartisan legislation on guns last year.

People who sell firearms online or at gun shows would be required to be licensed and run background checks on the buyers before the sales under the rule proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The bureau estimates that the rule would affect anywhere from 24,500 to 328,000 sellers. It is aimed at those who are in the business of gun sales, rather than those dealing with their personal collections.

Background checks help prevent guns from being sold to people convicted of crimes, teenagers and others who are legally blocked from owning them, said the agency’s director, Steve Dettelbach. Federally licensed firearm dealers are also required to keep records and sell guns with serial numbers, both of which help law enforcement trace weapons used in crimes.

“Unlicensed dealers sell guns without running background checks, without keeping records, without observing the other crucial public safety requirements by which the (federally licensed firearm dealer) community abides,” he said.

Gun control groups applauded the idea when Biden first announced it, though gun rights groups argued it would do little to stop the gun violence problem.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 90 days. It was not immediately clear when it might become final.

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Biden administration proposes rule that would require more firearms dealers to run background checks