June 25, 2022 – President Biden signed into law S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (the “Act”), which includes a comprehensive package of new gun control laws. The following is an overview of what was ultimately included in the Act and how it will affect the firearms industry.

Federal Funding for Red Flag Laws – Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have previously enacted “red flag” laws that authorize a temporary seizure of an individual’s firearms if the person is found to pose a danger to themselves or others.  Section 12003 of the Act will permit states to use federal funding to implement “crisis intervention programs,” which may include red flag laws, either by passing new laws or expanding existing laws. The Act seeks to require due process protections, such as a right to a hearing, should states implement and/or enforce red flag laws.

Closing the “Boyfriend” Loophole – Persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are currently prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms if their victim was someone to whom they were married, with whom they lived, or with whom they had a child.  Section 12005 of the Act expands the prohibition to anyone convicted of domestic violence who was recently, or is currently, in a “dating relationship” with the victim.  The term “dating relationship” is to be determined based on factors including the length and nature of the relationship, and the frequency and type of interaction between the individuals involved in the relationship.  Significantly, this prohibition is not retroactive and will apply only to convictions on or after the date on which the Act was enacted.

Expanded Background Checks – Section 12001 of the Act will require NICS to contact state and local law enforcement in order to identify disqualifying juvenile or mental health records that may have been previously sealed for all individuals less than twenty-one years old who complete a Form 4473 to purchase a firearm.  If the initial results of such a NICS check show that “cause exists to further investigate a possibly disqualifying juvenile record,” the dealer must wait ten full business days before transferring a firearm if the results have not yet changed to a proceed or a deny.

Expanded Definition of “Firearms Dealer” – Section 12002 of the Act expands the scope of persons required to obtain an FFL.  It changes the definition of someone engaged in the business as a dealer in firearms from someone “who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms,” to someone “who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business to predominantly earn a profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.”  The Act states that the term “to predominantly earn a profit” means that the “intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection: Provided, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism.”

The provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will have significant implications for both firearm purchasers and sellers.  Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor new and developing firearms legislation around the county.  If you have any questions concerning the Act or any other firearms related legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.