President Barack Obama has announced new controls for gun sales.
On Monday the POTUS told the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to require those selling guns, whether at a flea market or online, to register as a firearms dealer and to perform background checks on gun purchasers.
Obama’s directive arrives one month after the Senate voted against a measure that would have barred gun sales to anyones on the federal terror watch lists.
Another gun-control measure to expand background checks at gun shows, and for online purchases, also failed.
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks,” the White House said in a statement.
Federal law until this time has allowed hobbyists who sell guns occasionally to avoid the need for registering as a firearms seller. Private-party gun sales, which often occur online, have also largely been exempt from more stringent checks and balances.
President Obama’s order has not been finalized so details on who would be exempt have not been clarified.
“These rules will provide clear notice to those individuals who try to hide behind the hobby exception when they are selling for a profit or for a business,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said after meeting with President Obama.
During his weekly address President Obama said he was “well within my legal right” to issue his order.
He also went after Congress for failing to act in a responsible manner: “We know that we can’t stop every act of violence. But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something—anything—to protect our kids from gun violence?”
The White House is expected to ask Congress to fund a $500 million mental-health initiative as part of the President’s new gun-control measures.
The president will ask the Republican-controlled Congress to foot the bill for 200 new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives agents.
“Because we all must do our part to keep our communities safe, the administration is also calling on states and local governments to do all they can to keep guns out of the wrong hands and reduce gun violence,” the White House said.
“It is also calling on private-sector leaders to follow the lead of other businesses that have taken voluntary steps to make it harder for dangerous individuals to get their hands on a gun. In the coming weeks, the administration will engage with manufacturers, retailers, and other private-sector leaders to explore what more they can do.”
Republican candidates for President are already promising to overturn any laws President Obama enacts around gun control.