The Odessa, TX Shooting ISN’T a Reason to Expand “Gun Dealer” Definition

What Gun-Dealing Activity Requires a License?

The legal definition of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) Gun Dealer reads as follows:[i]

The term “dealer” means (A) any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail, (B) any person engaged in the business[ii] of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or (C) any person who is a pawnbroker.

Anyone “engaged in the business” must have a license to deal in firearms, but law-abiding citizen’s private transfers are not included in this 53-year-old definition.

The Illegal Gun Dealer in Odessa, TX Plead Guilty

The current definition adequately covered and criminalized the actions of Marcus Anthony Braziel, who sold the firearm to the Odessa murderer. Therefore, according to a January 7th, 2021 press release from the Department of Justice:

The man who sold the AR-15 used to gun down 32 people in Midland and Odessa, Texas has been sentenced to two years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. Marcus Anthony Braziel, 45, of Lubbock, Texas, pleaded guilty in October to one count of dealing firearms without a license and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. He was sentenced Thursday to 24 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix.

An Expanded Definition of Gun “Dealer” Could Lead to Backdoor Universal Background Checks

The definition of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a critical boundary between the mandatory background checks performed during commercial gun sales and law-abiding private transfers and sales that take place every day in more than half of the United States.

Expanding the definition of FFLs (Federal Firearms Licenses) could require anyone who sells more than one gun to do so through an FFL, resulting in a backdoor mechanism for universal background registration checks—just as the Obama Administration attempted.[iii]

No Expanding Background Checks, Definitions Until Illegal Gun Registry is ELIMINATED

The goal of the anti-gun movement will be to turn all private citizens who sell their guns into FFLs which will restrict your ability to conduct private gun transfers without being recorded in the ATF’s illegal national federal registry. Remember, the ATF already has a database of nearly one billion gun and gun owner records in a database in West Virginia.[iv]

It is unconscionable that Congress would universalize or expand the background check system when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has exploited and abused it for the creation of a near-billion record gun registry in violation of one federal statute and two appropriations act restrictions.[v]

This GOA Fact Sheet was circulated on Capitol Hill beginning on June 15th, 2022.

[i] 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(11).

[ii] Note: Further definition of “engaged in the business” can be found at 18 U.S.C 921(a)(21).

[iii] Office of the Press Secretary. FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer. 2016.

[iv] Johnston. ATF’s Illegal Gun Owner Registry. 2022.

[v] ibid.