‘Typical propaganda:’ Gov. Ron DeSantis decries new DOJ rule aimed at closing gun show loophole

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new rule put into effect by the Biden Administration aims to ensure background checks are conducted for firearm sales at gun shows and online.


The stated goal is to close the ‘gun show loophole’, but Governor Ron DeSantis called that characterization ‘propaganda’ on Friday.

The so-called gun show loophole has long been a point of contention in the gun safety debate, even here in Florida, where efforts to pass legislation addressing the issue following the Parkland shooting generated some movement, but never crossed the finish line.

But gun safety advocates argue it’s less about gun shows and more about unlicensed gun dealers.

Nick Suplina with Everytown for Gun Safety explained private firearms sales don’t typically require background checks, it’s not uncommon for unlicensed dealers to sell firearms for profit online or at gun shows using the guise of a private sale to avoid background check requirements.

“And the fact is this helps one group of people the most, and that’s criminals, people with felony records, domestic violence abuse records who couldn’t buy a gun at a store with a background check, but who can go find these folks out,” said Suplina.

READ: Gov. DeSantis signs laws criminalizing harassment of first responders, gutting citizen review boards

“This is typical propaganda. If I have a gun store and you come in, you’re required to run a background check. If I bring my inventory to a gun show I still have to do the same thing,” said Governor Ron DeSantis when Action News Jax asked him about the new rule Friday.

Action News Jax followed up and asked the Governor how the new rule might impact private gun sales in Florida.

“What they’re talking about has nothing to do with gun shows. They’re talking about if you as a private citizen sell a rifle to your cousin, do you have to do a background check on that,” DeSantis remarked.

But Suplina argued the rule is written to intentionally target unlicensed dealers selling guns for profit, not private firearms sales between, for example, family members.

“You know if you’re engaged in the business of selling firearms, but this rule makes really clear that it doesn’t matter if you are engaged in the business online or at a gun show, the fact is, is that if you’re selling guns for a profit, you are covered by the rule,” said Suplina.

The Governor also called the new rule, “governing by executive fiat”, but Suplina argued the new rule simply implements legislation passed by Congress in 2022 after the Uvalde school shooting.

The one thing they did agree on is that this new rule is likely going to be challenged in the courts.

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