ATF Redefinition Of ‘Gun Dealer’ Is A Legal Quagmire

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the anti-Second Amendment Biden administration unilaterally enacted numerous changes. Among those are redefining what a “firearm” is and most recently the definition of a “gun dealer.”

This latest volley against gun rights created a potential mess for people who casually trade in weapons — even as few as one.

Now the roster of who are mandated to be registered as a federal firearms licensee (FFL) is greatly expanded. The new final rule is based on laws that have existed for decades requiring those “engaged in the business” of weapons to have an FFL.

But what exactly does that mean?

Since the 1930s, the exact definition of the term has been fuzzy, and the ATF did little to clear that ambiguity. How does selling a few or even one privately owned firearm to another individual graduate to the level of an FFL?

As the National Rifle Association (NRA) warned, this has the potential “to turn untold thousands of upstanding citizens into criminals for exercising their constitutional rights.”

According to the previous wording, the person had to be engaged in sales for “livelihood and profit.” But now the livelihood aspect is null and void.

Instead, there merely must be profit.

By removing that one word, the ATF radically changed the scope of federal firearms regulations. Previously a person needed to be licensed when involved in “a course of trade or business” that included “repetitive” buying and reselling.

But yet another weaponized Biden agency now enjoys new and unprecedented power.

Even the resale of a weapon that is still in the original packaging could be construed as engaging in the business and making a profit. And the risks for violations are not minor.

Running afoul of the new ATF final rule is a felony. Licensing, paperwork and background checks are now required for anyone determined to be making a profit from weapons sales — no matter how minor.

As many regrettable gun control measures may boast, this latest move by the ATF is rooted in 2022’s so-called Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

This sellout by a few powerful Republicans opened the floodgates for Democrats to enact several new and onerous requirements on lawful gun owners. Among them now is apparently the need to run a criminal background check for a simple private transaction.