The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to force the Trump administration to provide the public with more information about its proposed rules for gun sales and ownership.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, alleges that the Obama administration’s proposed rule, which was submitted to the Federal Register last week, would undermine public safety.
The new rule, titled “Enforcing Gun Safety: Requiring a License to Purchase Firearms, and the Availability of a Non-Federal License for Purchasing Firearms,” seeks to expand the background check system for gun purchases, prohibit gun shows, require gun owners to get permits from their state government and require that any gun sale must be completed in person.
“It’s outrageous that the Trump Administration would propose a rule that would fundamentally alter the gun-buyer experience, while exempting gun shows and gun sales from the same stringent background checks that must be conducted at gun shows,” said Amy Wolynski, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland.
“By requiring people to go through the federal government’s rigorous background checks, the Trump proposal would put the health and safety of Marylanders at risk.”
The rule was submitted under the title “Federal Gun Control Implementation Plan for the National Capital Region,” which is similar to the proposal that was submitted by the Trump transition team last month to President Donald Trump, according to the ACLU.
The plan, which is expected to be finalized sometime next week, states that federal agencies “must ensure that the sale of firearms by individuals, entities, and businesses does not infringe upon Second Amendment rights or violate existing laws” in order to be considered a federal firearms licensee.
In the new proposal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security are to be tasked with issuing “precise” background checks to gun sellers and retailers, and then requiring them to get a state-issued license to sell firearms.
The proposal states that this license would “require that the seller and purchaser complete a background check and provide a written statement to the department in which they affirm that they are not prohibited by state or local law from possessing firearms, including firearms used for lawful self-defense, in their homes.”
The law would also require that sellers and owners who do not have licenses “submit the required information to the bureau within five days” and the bureau would issue “a letter of denial” if they do not comply with the rules.
The ACLU has been lobbying to make sure the federal gun control proposal is not a step backward from the Obama era.
In May, we urged the Obama White House to withdraw its proposal to require all gun sales to be completed at gun stores.
We asked the Trump White House for a full explanation of the plan and have yet to receive a response.
The White House also refused to comment.