Gross: “Make no mistake, any politician who opposes the President’s approach supports arming criminals, domestic abusers and even terrorists with guns and BRADY WILL HOLD THEM PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE.”
Washington D.C., January 5, 2016 — In the most historic day for gun violence prevention in America since the Brady Law was enacted in 1994, President Obama unveiled a new set of bold executive actions to curb gun violence. The Brady Campaign lauded the President’s actions, which reflect key recommendations made by Brady directly to the White House, to expand Brady background checks and better enforce existing gun laws.
The President announced new executive actions that will expand Brady background checks by clarifying what it means to be “engaged in the business of selling guns.” The President’s announcement also included new funding for government agencies to better investigate, prosecute, and enforce existing gun laws.
“This is the kind of action the country has called for, and the kind of bold action the Brady Campaign and its millions of supporters have been striving for,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign. “The very same life-saving Brady background checks that Jim and Sarah Brady fought tooth and nail for, that have blocked more than 2.4 million prohibited purchases, will now be required for the thousands of sales that currently take place every day without them. Because of the President’s historic action, fewer guns will end up in the dangerous hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill, and terrorists. Without question, lives will be saved.”
Current law requires that persons “engaged in the business” of selling firearms obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and conduct Brady background checks before finalizing every gun sale. However, “engaged in the business” of selling guns is not well defined, and this current vagueness in regulations hampers the ATF and federal prosecutors in holding accountable gun sellers who are obviously in the business of selling guns yet do not have a federal license to sell. Without a license, in most states, these sellers are not required to conduct background checks as required by the Brady Law. This means thousands of guns, in most states, are being sold every day at gun shows and over the internet to prohibited and dangerous people with no background check whatsoever.
The new action clarifies specifics about who must obtain an FFL to sell guns. The result will be that more gun sellers need to obtain an FFL and conduct background checks for every sale under the Brady Law, as well as greater prosecution and accountability of gun dealers who are illegally selling guns without a license.
The new regulations for obtaining an FFL will also give new and powerful tools to federal prosecutors and the ATF to hold accountable those unlicensed gun sellers who profit from selling guns without background checks at gun shows and online.
Specifically, the new action on “engaged in the business” will:
- Ensure states are providing complete records to the NICS background check system, and are working cooperatively with jurisdictions to improve reporting
- Make the NICS background check system more efficient and effective
- Clarify that a person can be engaged in the business of dealing in firearms regardless of the location, quantity, or frequency of sales
Gross continued, “The President is doing his part, now we have to do ours because the fight isn’t over. The corporate gun lobby won’t go down without a fight because, regardless of who lives or dies, their top priority is to sell as many guns as they can to anyone who will buy them. This is the time to watch closely to see who supports sensible gun reform and who – especially in Congress – will fight for the corporate gun lobby. Make no mistake, any politician who opposes the President’s approach supports arming criminals, domestic abusers and even terrorists with guns and BRADY WILL HOLD THEM PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE.”
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.