• Description

The ATF Reform and Modernization Act, under consideration by Congress, would make several important changes that would weaken law enforcement's ability to hold scofflaw gun dealers accountable. It would increase evidentiary standards for prosecuting gun sales law violations, relax record-keeping requirements, weaken penalties for gun sales law violations, make license revocations more difficult, and prevent ATF notification of bulk gun purchases to local police. None of these provisions would be expected to influence law-abiding citizens' ability to purchase firearms. The research described in this brief, as well as new research on interstate gun trafficking and gun laws, provides evidence that policies which lessen the accountability of gun dealers are likely to lead to more gun trafficking.