Cornyn’s Folly Redux: Biden Moves to Expand List of Individuals Who Will Need an FFL to Sell Their Guns

John Cornyn
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) – Shutterstock

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It should be more than obvious that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that credulous GOP Senator John Cornyn shepherded into law along with Connecticut’s Chris Murphy was nothing but a stalking horse for expanding the federal government’s regulation of firearms.

Since it was signed into law, the Biden Administration has interpreted the law’s language in the widest possible ways to institute a de facto 10-day waiting period on gun sales to adults under 21 years of age, strong-arm states into enacting red flag confiscation laws, and yank federal funds from schools with hunting safety and archery programs.

All the while, the slack-jawed Texas Senator has expressed outrage and written some very strongly-worded letters to complain about the ways the most anti-gun administration in American history is implementing the gun control law he made possible.

The latest abuse of the BSCA, announced today by the White House, is new ATF rulemaking that would greatly expand the number of people who will need a Federal Firearms License to sell their guns.

The proposed rule lays out a set of criteria for who will be considered by ATF to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms in order to, as the Gun Control Industry likes to say, close the mythical gun show loophole. The rule will bring us another step closer to “universal” background checks.

This is from the White House’s press release . . .

Specifically, the proposed rule, if finalized, would clarify that an individual would be presumed to be “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms—and therefore be required to become a licensed firearms dealer and run background checks—if they meet certain conditions. For example, under the proposed rule, a person would be presumed to be required to become a licensed dealer and run background checks if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

      • Offer for sale any number of firearms and also represents to potential buyers that they are willing and able to purchase and sell them additional firearms;
      • Repetitively offer for sale firearms within 30 days after they were purchased;
      • Repetitively offer for sale firearms that are like new in their original packaging;
      • Repetitively offer for sale multiple firearms of the same make and model; or
      • As a formerly federally-licensed firearms dealer, sell firearms that were in the business inventory and not transferred to a personal collection at least a year before the sale, addressing the so-called “fire sale loophole.”

The proposed rule would also clarify that, for civil or administrative actions, an individual would be presumed to have the intent to “predominantly earn a profit”—one of the elements of engaging in the business of dealing firearms—if the person engages in activities such as:

      • Creating a website or making business cards to advertise or market a firearms business;
      • Maintaining records to document and track profits and losses from firearms purchases or sales; or
      • Purchasing business insurance or renting space at a gun show.

The proposed rule would make clear that there is no “gun show loophole” or “internet loophole” in federal law. Dealers who engage in the business of selling guns are required to obtain a license and run background checks no matter where they engage in the business of buying and selling firearms. That include at gun shows and over the Internet.

When If the new law is adopted by ATF after the 90-day comment period, anyone who runs afoul of the regulatory agency’s undoubtedly arbitrary and capricious application of the new standards will face fines of up to $250,000, jail time of as much as five years in a federal pen, or both.

We’re positive Senator Cornyn and the other GOP Senators who voted for the BSCA following the Uvalde shooting will once again ball up their fists and express outrage at the administration twisting the law’s language. They may even send more letters to Biden and ATF jefe Steve Dettelbach complaining that this really isn’t what Congress intended when they voted on the law (that none of them actually read).

In other words, it will be lots of sound and fury signifying nothing, all aided and abetted by the wonderfully bipartisan work of the senior Senator from the Lone Star State. He must be so proud.


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