Breaking: ATF Issues Critical Rule that Can Help Close Background Check Loophole Excluding Online Sellers

August 31, 2023

Guns Down America Urged ATF to Take Action Following Report on Online Platform ‘Armslist’

WASHINGTON, DC – Guns Down America applauded the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for a new rule that would ensure more online sellers would be required to conduct background checks. The rule comes following a letter Guns Down America sent to the ATF asking that the agency use all the tools in its toolbox to take action so that guns purchased on online platforms include background checks.

“Some of these online platforms like Armslist have more than 1,000 sellers each selling as many as 1,000 guns, all without background checks. I’m glad the ATF has taken this action,” said Shannon Grady, interim executive director of Guns Down America. “This new rule from the ATF will finally help ensure more online platforms conduct background checks. It is an important step toward a future with safer communities and fewer guns.”

According to recent reporting by The New York Times, a man was able to purchase an AR-15-style rifle on Armslist after triggering an automatic rejection when he attempted to purchase a gun at a licensed dealer. He used his weapon to carry out a shooting at the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri, where he killed Alexzandria Bell, 15, and Jean Kuczka, a 61-year-old teacher and injured seven others.

View the letter Guns Down America sent the ATF here.

This rule from the ATF comes following passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes provisions clarifying who is a firearms dealer, finally closing a loophole that allows countless guns to be sold each year without a background check.

A 2019 study by Boston University found that states with background checks had lower homicide rates than those without. According to a recent Fox News poll, 87 percent of Americans support background checks on all gun buyers.