DOJ Rule Allows Gun Sellers To Access Stolen Firearm Records

DOJ Rule Allows Gun Sellers To Access Stolen Firearm Records

( – Firearm sellers will now be able to access the records of stolen firearms under a new interim final rule by the Department of Justice.

The rule, issued on June 24, will allow gun store owners and other firearm sellers to access and review the FBI’s database that tracks stolen guns. Merrick Garland, the Justice Department’s attorney general, signed the new rule with support and provisions from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) that was passed in 2022.

The new rule will allow resellers holding a federal firearms license to determine whether a gun was stolen before they buy it. They have a couple of options: either work with law enforcement to scour the database for a firearm’s serial number, or have states request information from the database on their behalf. Officials are working on a third option that will allow gun retailers to use E-Check as well.

Sellers can then alert law enforcement if a weapon is found to have been stolen. That could help police investigations conclude faster and more safely. It may also play a role in deterring future thefts.

According to reports, FBI records show that a gun is stolen in the US every 15 minutes. Most of them are taken after the thief breaks into a car that’s been left unlocked. Law enforcement agencies have reportedly begged the public to hide their guns from view and lock the doors of their cars. The majority of guns used in violent crimes were stolen or otherwise procured illegally.

However, many weapons were also stolen or lost from the military, totaling at least 1,900 from 2011 to 2021. Many of those guns, including a large number of fully-automatic rifles, contain modifications that are not available to the public. A few thieves even managed to steal grenades and other explosives. The guns were stolen from unlocked facilities, sleeping soldiers, burglary, and other simple oversights in security. Some of those firearms were later used in violent crimes. The AP investigation revealing the startling numbers concluded that there are likely many more.

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