(Freedom.news) The Obama administration’s recent public comments to reporters last week regarding the president’s executive actions on firearms are likely at odds with guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that was issued in response to the White House initiative, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“ATF will make clear that whether you are ‘engaged in the business’ depends on the facts and circumstances,” Valerie Jarrett told reporters last week. “On factors such as: whether you represent yourself as a dealer, such as making business cards or taking credit card statements. Whether you sell firearms shortly after they’re acquired or whether you buy or sell in the original packaging.
“Numbers are relevant. The ATF and DOJ did not identify a magic number of weapons that makes you engaged in the business because that would limit their ability to bring prosecution,” she added.
Jarrett, a top Obama advisor, then said that selling as few as two guns may require a license. And later in the conference call with reporters, Attorney General Loretta Lynch noted that the threshold may wind up being as low as one gun sale.
“It can be as few as one or two depending upon the circumstances under which the person sells the gun,” she said.
But, as the WFB further reported:
…[T]he ATF’s written guidance on federal firearms licensing emphasizes that whether sales are repetitive is a key determination in whether or not an individual needs a license. “As a general rule, you will need a license if you repetitively buy and sell firearms with the principal motive of making a profit,” the guidance reads. “In contrast, if you only make occasional sales of firearms from your personal collection, you do not need to be licensed.”
While the guidance went on to say, as Jarrett did, there’s no “magic number” regarding how many guns someone may sell before having to obtain a Federal Firearms License, there have been some court cases centered around a small number of guns being sold.
“There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement,” it reads. “Courts have looked at both the quantity of firearms sold, as well as the frequency of sales, as relevant indicators. When combined with other factors, selling large numbers of firearms or engaging in frequent transactions may be highly indicative of business activity.”
The guidance continues, outlining various scenarios in which gun sellers may not need to first obtain a license, such as when selling a substantial number of inherited firearms, collectors who occasionally sell personal weapons then spending profits on additional guns, and others who sell guns to finance some expenses like paying for college tuition.
In an interview with the WFB, a former high-ranking ATF official who spent decades at the agency said that in the majority of times, cases involving persons who sell guns without a license are not pursued.
“Typically you couldn’t get a U.S. attorney to take a case like that because it lacks jury appeal,” the former official said. “You’re going to prosecute some old guy for selling one gun? It would have to be some real special circumstance like a major drug trafficker was caught selling a gun before they press that, and how likely would that be?”
Obama has also claimed that so-called “gun show loopholes” are permitting great numbers of criminals to obtain guns under the radar. But there is no data to back that up, and anyone who buys a gun from a licensed dealer at guns shows – of which most vendors generally are – still is subject to a background check.
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