June 24, 2021

In a national address on Wednesday, President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed the Administration’s plan to address the rising level of violent crime across the country by specifically targeting firearm dealers. They will be implementing a “zero tolerance” policy with respect to alleged “rogue gun dealers” who fail to abide by relevant federal laws that are enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”).

In particular, the ATF will seek to revoke the licenses of dealers the first time that they violate federal law by willfully 1) transferring a firearm to a prohibited person, 2) failing to run a required background check, 3) falsifying records, such as a firearms transaction form, 4) failing to respond to a trace request, or 5) refusing to permit ATF to conduct certain inspections in violation of the law.

The ATF,  local law enforcement, and government officials across the country have been directed to “better coordinate” with regard to identifying dealers who supply firearms that are recovered at crime scenes. The Department of Justice will also set up multi-jurisdictional “strike forces” to assist with coordinating efforts to track firearms and identify dealers when firearms are trafficked across state lines and then used in violent crimes.

Notably, Attorney General Garland acknowledged that the majority of federally licensed firearms dealers abide by these laws, however there will be an increased emphasis on enforcement and inspections by the ATF. Given the implications of a zero tolerance policy and evolving efforts by this Administration to change existing firearms laws and regulations, it is essential that firearms dealers understand and strictly comply with all applicable federal laws.

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP provides guidance and consultation to firearms dealers on these issues to ensure that their business remains uninterrupted. If you have any questions regarding these new policies directed at firearms dealers, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.