Boston (April 13, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today criticized new guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) permitting these gun dealers to conduct curbside and drive-through transactions. Senator Markey and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) recently led their Senate colleagues in calling on the ATF and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to strengthen background checks amidst a massive increase in gun sales during the coronavirus emergency.


“The Trump administration already has endangered our public safety by designating gun stores as essential critical infrastructure during this pandemic,” said Senator Markey. “Amidst the surge in gun sales due to coronavirus-related anxiety, instead of issuing guidance instructing dealers to wait for completed background checks before transferring firearms, the Trump administration weighed in to allow firearms dealers to conduct business in parking lot booths and drive-through windows. This guidance looks like it was ghostwritten by the NRA. According to some estimates, for every one drive-through coronavirus testing site in America there are now approximately one-hundred gun stores that can offer drive-through services. Rather than demonstrating true leadership and issuing guidance to promote public safety and responsible gun ownership, Trump and ATF are contorting their authority in an embarrassing display of fealty to the gun industry. 


“I will be calling on the ATF to provide answers about this reckless new guidance.”