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Published on April 13, 2024
Biden's New Blow to Gun Show Anarchy as Federal Fist Clamps Down on Unlicensed SalesSource: Unsplash/ Specna Arms

The Biden administration has laid down the gauntlet with a new rule targeting the so-called 'gun show loophole,' a maneuver aimed squarely at the unregulated sale of firearms at gun shows and online marketplaces, in a push to curb gun violence, as per an announcement by Attorney General Merrick Garland, this move mandates individuals selling guns predominantly for profit to secure a license and conduct background checks on buyers.

In a bid to suffocate the flow of unlicensed gun trading, the revised rule, according to both ABC15 and CNN, will disregard the venue of sale, be it a physical storefront, a bustling gun show or the digital expanse of the internet if you're in it for the greenbacks a background check is your new dance partner; the measure first saw daylight in 2023 after a bipartisan effort and a subsequent executive order by President Joe Biden which cranked the pressure on the DOJ to tighten regulations surrounding who exactly is 'engaged in the business' of peddling firearms.

With the rule set to spring into action 30 days after its entry into the Federal Register, it looms over an estimated 20,000 rogue traders who previously evaded the red tape of licenses and background checks, Vice President Kamala Harris highlighted the proximity of its enactment to the grim memory of the Columbine High School shooting, having described the watershed tragedy as "a horrific act of violence that was carried out in part with guns purchased through the gun show loophole," as reported by CNN.

However, the NRA's resistance to the rule is as feverish as the summer sun in Arizona, with their executive director Randy Kozuch branding it "an attack on law-abiding gun owners" in a fiery statement, which, juxtaposed with the measured optimism of gun control advocates rings a discordant bell, when advocates, including Nick Suplina of Everytown for Gun Safety, told ABC15, they believe the rule "should curb that behavior significantly," all while Charles Heller, a co-founder of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, explained in an interview that, in his perspective, the rule adjustment might not dent the gun violence statistics because transactions could simply shift to more concealed arenas beyond gun shows.

On the ground in Arizona, a state with gun laws as loose as sand through fingers, this federal adjustment is anticipated to stir a undercurrent in the local firearm market - a shift from a free-for-all bazaar to a sterner, scrutinized trade scene, as gun sellers without a Federal Firearms License or FFL are brought to heel under the watchful eyes of Uncle Sam.