68,000 Guns Illegally Trafficked Over 5 Years

(ConservativeSense.com) – More than 68,000 guns were trafficked illegally in the US over the past five years, according to an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) investigation – the first of its kind in 20 years. The firearms, which are deliberately entered into the illegal market for criminal acts and to avoid being traced, were responsible for 368 shootings between 2017 and 2021. ATF Director Steve Dettelbach said the unlicensed trading of guns makes shooting inquiries much more challenging for law enforcement and allows criminals to escape justice.

Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the ATF probe. He explained that it re-examined 9,700 closed ATF files and discovered that in 60% of cases, the person receiving the unlicensed firearm had previous felony convictions. In 25% of cases, felons used the guns to commit additional serious offenses.

Mr. Dettelbach contends that those who sell unlicensed firearms, whether online or “out of a trunk,” are partly responsible for the violence or crime that follows.

Last year, the Biden administration introduced proposals aimed at closing a “loophole” permitting people to sell firearms without a license because they do so not as traders but as private individuals. The ATF said last August that everyone who sells guns should be licensed and, therefore, obliged to conduct background checks.

A White House statement made clear that those who sell a firearm and offer to sell more, or who repetitively offer guns for sale within 30 days of purchase or if they are unused and packaged, fall into the category of trader and are subject to licensing rules. Furthermore, also caught by the new regulations are sellers who repeatedly trade weapons of the same model or former licensed traders who failed to move stock into a personal collection within a year of ceasing business.

Gun rights advocates immediately condemned the proposals and warned they would face challenge in courts as a Second Amendment infringement. Gun control organizations, however, welcomed the move as a step toward universal background checks.

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