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AG Garland, President Biden discuss efforts to crack down on gun dealers who willfully break the law

President Biden warned that there will be "zero tolerance" for such gun dealers.

Updated: June 23, 2021 - 7:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Attorney General Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden during remarks at the White House on Wednesday discussed efforts to crack down on gun dealers who purposefully break the law.

While Garland noted that most federally licensed firearms dealers operate lawfully by selling to people who have cleared background checks, he said "dealers that willfully violate the law increase the risk that guns will fall into the wrong hands. Absent extraordinary circumstances, ATF will initiate proceedings to revoke the licenses of dealers that willfully violate the law by failing to conduct required background checks, falsifying records, failing to respond to trace requests, refusing to permit ATF to conduct inspections or transferring firearms to persons who are prohibited from owning them," he said. "Second, we are seeking funding to increase ATF's dealer inspection capacity and improve its effectiveness," he noted.

"Third, we will improve information sharing with state, local, tribal and territorial partners to help bring more intelligence and law enforcement resources to bear, as well as with the public, to increase our own accountability," Garland said. "Fourth, we are launching a concerted effort to crack down on gun traffickers. Yesterday the department announced that it will establish five new cross-jurisdictional law enforcement strike forces within the next 30 days. The strike forces will focus on addressing significant firearms trafficking corridors that fuel violence in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C. as well as in cities and towns along the way."

President Biden warned that there will be "zero tolerance" regarding gun dealers who willfully break laws and regulations: "We'll make sure you can't sell death and mayhem on our streets," he said regarding gun dealers who commit infractions such as willfully selling a gun to a person barred from having one or willfully failing to perform a background check.