September 28, 2023
ATF Police Raid IMG ATFHQ Instagram
ATF Police Raid IMG ATFHQ Instagram

The Biden administration will use executive orders and the weaponized ATF to issue a rule limiting the private sales of firearms. According to the New York Times and verified by AmmoLand News sources, the new rule is expected to be unveiled by the end of the year.

President Joe Biden plans to announce that he is directing the ATF to close what Everytown calls the “private sales loophole” and the “digital loophole.” The “private sales loophole” is when an individual sells a firearm for profit but does not possess a Federal Firearm License (FFL).

Biden will call on the ATF to develop a new rule requiring anyone who makes a profit by selling firearms to possess an FFL. Guns tend to increase in value over time. A gun purchased in 1980 will likely sell for more money today than its original value.

The so-called “digital loophole” includes marketplaces like Armslist, where private individuals can list their firearms for sale. The Biden administration wants to see these marketplaces shut down, but it is unclear exactly how that lofty goal will be accomplished. Websites like Armslist do not sell firearms.

AmmoLand News spoke to Armslist Founder Jonathan Gibbons about the attacks his company faces and the upcoming ATF rule. Armslist has been battling anti-gun groups for years, fending off several lawsuits. Armslist has a perfect track record at defeating these attacks, but the cases are costly.

“Private-party transactions are not a ‘loophole,’” Gibbons told AmmoLand News. “Buying and selling firearms is a guaranteed right under the Second Amendment. Interfering with state laws allowing citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights should concern everyone. Americans have a First Amendment Constitutional right to use the internet, to communicate about their other Constitutional rights.”

The rule, currently in draft form, is expected to be announced later this year. The announcement will be followed by a public comment period. The Biden administration aims to reveal the final rule by late spring or early summer of 2024 and for it to go into effect by the fall of next year. The rule is still in the early stages of development, so the timeline is subject to change.

Previous ATF rule changes, such as the frame/receiver rule, bump stock rule, and pistol brace rule, have been successfully challenged in court. The courts have ruled that the ATF does not have the authority to pass these rules. In an attempt to head off another defeat, the ATF and the Justice Department will claim that the power to require private sellers to obtain an FFL was delegated to them by Congress through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).

The BSCA was a massive gun control bill that passed Congress with the support of some Republicans. The bill changed the definition of a “gun seller.” The BSCA altered the wording of Section 921(a) of Title 18, United States Code. The BSCA altered the definition of someone “engaged in the business” of selling guns from “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” to the ambiguous statement of “to predominantly earn a profit.” Now the Biden Administration is exploiting that change through the upcoming rule. From the text of the BSCA:

(22) 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.

Many gun rights groups tried to warn Republicans such as Senator John Cornyn, chief architect of the BSCA, that the Biden administration would exploit the anti-gun law, but these pleas were ignored.

The main force pushing for the new rule is Everytown for Gun Safety. The Bloomberg-backed group sees the new requirements for sellers to obtain an FFL to get closer to universal background checks (UBC). President Biden and other Democrat politicians have taken millions of dollars from the group and will need the organization’s war chest for the upcoming elections.

Universal background checks have been a cornerstone to the Biden anti-gun plan, but so far have been a non-starter in Congress. With the President unable to pass any bill that includes UBCs, the White House is doing what it considers the next best thing.

This rule shows the gun community that any “compromise” will be used against gun rights, and the ATF claiming authority through the BSCA shows that the recent losses have the ATF scrambling to prevent future losses by pointing to legislation even if the law has to be taken out of context.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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