Gun Rights Groups Fire Back at Biden Administration's 'Gun Show Loophole' Rule

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

There is no gun show loophole. It never existed. All that existed was a rule that allowed people to sell their guns to other people, and that sometimes happened at gun shows.


Yet there's no convincing the anti-gun establishment of that fact. They're convinced that massive numbers of guns were sold by unofficial dealers at pretty much every gun show in existence. The fact that many of us have gone to gun shows our entire lives and never seen it clearly didn't matter. They know it happens because someone told them that it did.

So, the Biden administration, bowing down yet against to its anti-gun masters, has decided to change the rules.

Pro-gun groups are not amused.

"The president is claiming this will keep guns out of the hands of felons, and he knows better,” Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told "If history has taught us anything, it would be that criminals do not obtain the guns they use through legitimate channels and that gun control laws have never prevented criminals from obtaining a firearm. All this rule will accomplish is to place yet another burden on honest citizens wanting to exercise their Second Amendment rights."

Gottlieb noted the new rule, which takes effect in 30 days, is "almost certain to be challenged in federal court."


A spokesman for the trade group of the American firearms industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told that the organization is still examining the entirety of the rule, which they have always maintained overstepped ATF's authority to craft law-- a task that is the sole responsibility of the U.S. Congress. 

"ATF has no authority to 'improve' on what Congress enacted or to create new crimes not enacted by Congress," said Mark Oliva, the NSSF's public affairs director. "An agency may not re-write statutory terms or fill in what the agency considers to be 'gaps' or 'loopholes' in the statute. The Gun Control Act (GCA) is a criminal statute, and ATF’s reading is not entitled to any deference. Given that the GCA is a criminal statute with the same meaning in a civil context, ATF may not create presumptions thereon for civil or administrative purposes."


We'd noted the NRA's response in a previous post.

It's pretty clear that the rule is going to be challenged, and considering the facts surrounding the rule, it's not going to be difficult to imagine it being overturned. The GCA is, in fact, legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. The ATF can't just redefine things or close supposed loopholes simply because they really, really want to. That's not how laws work.

Further, this measure will negatively impact the law-abiding while doing absolutely nothing to stop criminals. As noted, these supposedly rampant sales at gun shows and elsewhere--which prompted the term "gun show loophole"--aren't nearly as commonplace as gun control advocates want you to believe, which means these aren't how criminals are getting guns.

Moreover, those dealers that criminals do get guns from aren't those who will be prevented by this measure. Instead, they'll keep selling guns as they always have because they're usually not interested in complying with the law anyway. Black market dealers are funny like that.

While anti-gunners celebrate and pro-gun folks dig in, what the Biden administration and the ATF need to recognize is that this is far from over.


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