• Press Release

Another Win for Youth Activists as the “Gun-Show” and “Online Sales” Loopholes are Closed

Closing these loopholes is the most significant expansion of background checks since the 1993 Brady Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Biden-Harris administration took a significant step towards saving lives by adopting a new rule aimed at closing the notorious “gun show” and “online sales” loopholes. This rule closes these dangerous loopholes that have allowed unlicensed private sellers to sell guns without background checks for decades, whether at gun shows, online, or at other venues. These glaring loopholes have allowed countless guns to exchange hands without background checks, circumventing the law without consequences. We’re glad that after meeting with ATF Director Dettlebach about implementing the “engaged in business” rule from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and directing thousands of comments to the Department of Justice in support of this rule along with our friends in the gun safety movement, this deadly loophole is finally being closed. 

“For too long, these loopholes have been a deadly gateway for people trying to circumvent background checks and for gun dealers who want to put money over safety,” said Natalie Fall, Executive Director of March For Our Lives. “This new rule will save lives and bring us that much closer to universal background checks. Youth activists have called for this action for years, standing on the shoulders of our friends in the gun safety movement, and we applaud the Biden-Harris administration for moving swiftly and rigorously to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and fighting to defend our right to live without the fear of guns. This step also highlights the vital role of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention to coordinate the implementation of lifesaving measures across the government. By closing this dangerous regulatory gap, we are taking a crucial step towards building safer communities and saving lives.”

This ruling was made possible by a provision in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), a pathbreaking law that wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless advocacy of survivors and young people. Just days before the final passage of BSCA, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to March For Our Lives and demand urgent, meaningful action following twin tragedies in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX. March For Our Lives youth members also met with over 70 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to make our message clear: pass life-saving legislation or get out of our way. Through our marches, rallies, and conversations with elected officials on both sides of the aisle, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed, and its impact continues to reverberate and save lives—including in this ruling today. 

“This rule is a crucial milestone in our ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence. It’s a watershed moment, right along BSCA, in the fight for common sense gun safety laws,” said David Hogg, March For Our Lives Co-Founder and Board Member. “They told us we were foolish to hope for much back in 2018, and even in 2022, people said it wasn’t possible. Look where we are now. We’re proud to have played a role in closing these loopholes and enthused to have bold partners in the White House and in their Office of Gun Violence Prevention who are fighting with us for a future free of gun violence. Our work is far from over, and as the President said, it’s up to Congress to take the baton and pass universal background checks. Still, today’s announcement is a testament to the power of grassroots activism and the unwavering commitment of young people to create a safer, more just society for all.”