ATF Finalizes Rule to Expand Background Checks on Gun Sales


April 11, 2024

Contact Information:

Jesse Woche, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator


Today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) finalized a rule requiring a large number of unlicensed gun dealers to become licensed and, in turn, conduct background checks on buyers. This critical step will help close the loophole that has allowed unregulated sales at gun shows and online, contributing to gun violence across the country.

“This is a significant victory and is credited to the hard work of gun safety advocates here in Texas and across the nation,” said Nicole Golden, Executive Director of Texas Gun Sense. “Requiring background checks on gun sales is a common sense measure supported by the majority of Americans. It’s especially important in states like Texas, where background checks are not required for private sales, including those at gun shows and online. Eighty-six percent of Texas voters support strengthening background checks, recognizing that we must do more to keep guns out of the hands of individuals with documented violent histories.”

The rule, which was proposed following the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, received overwhelming support from the public during the comment period. It is expected to prevent thousands of firearms from falling into dangerous hands and to help reduce gun violence in communities nationwide.

Texas Gun Sense applauds the ATF for taking this important action and urges the Texas Legislature to pass laws to expand background checks for all gun sales.

Texas Gun Sense advocates to prevent gun violence and other gun tragedies through education, partnerships, and policy change. Learn more at



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