Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020 - In response to recent guidance from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that allows gun stores to conduct sales through a “drive by or walk up window,” Brady has submitted a letter to Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo requesting that she withdraw this guidance and work with licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) to improve and increase safety.
Brady President Kris Brown explained:
“We should not need to say this, but guns should not be sold like fast-food burgers or lemonade. Gun dealers play a critical role in assessing whether purchasers are prohibited, if they are gun traffickers, and whether purchasers are competent to handle and store guns safely. But ATF’s guidance to gun stores is a paradigm shift, fundamentally transforming a gun sale from a transaction centered around safety and responsibility to one of expediency. Permitting gun sales from drive-by or walk-up windows raises serious concerns about how those transactions will be handled and whether or not licensed dealers will properly assess purchasers, particularly given well-founded fears over close personal contact during the coronavirus epidemic.
Licensed firearm dealers are the cornerstone of gun violence prevention laws. The overwhelming majority of gun dealers work to keep their customers and their communities safe. These dealers are frequently the last line of defense to prevent straw purchasing and ensure that individuals undergoing times of crisis do not purchase weapons that can harm themselves or others. They often help new gun owners to learn about safe storage and handling protocols and to secure additional training and support. Most gun dealers know that guns should not be sold similar to Girl Scouts selling cookies in a parking lot, or like french fries through a drive-through window.
Turning a gun sale into a transaction through a window or at a temporary table makes it far less likely that gun dealers will perform their critical public safety duties. It makes it more likely that straw purchasers or individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms will complete gun sales. Because of this, we request that the ATF withdraw this guidance and return to its proper mission, supporting dealers in making their communities and customers safer. We call on ATF to, instead, recommend safer business practices that make straw gun sales and family fire tragedies less likely.”
Brady submitted its letter to ATF on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Brady continues to emphasize safety during gun sales. This includes tools like Brady’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct, which provides best practices and business solutions for gun dealers to help prevent sales of firearms to prohibited purchasers, people who intend to use the firearm illegally, straw purchasers, and traffickers. This framework works by addressing foreseeable complexities and lax standards in existing regulations, outlining how dealers can proactively implement solutions that prevent gun violence in their communities.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.