Raskin Introduces Legislation to Cut Off Federal Contracts to Gun Dealers Whose Firearms are Disproportionately Linked to Violent Crime and Violent Criminals

Legislation would withhold federal contracts from bad-apple gun dealers overrepresented in violent crime data

June 21, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08) introduced legislation to prevent the federal government from contracting with federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) that have a documented history of selling guns that end up disproportionately being used to commit violent crimes. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate. 

Existing federal law requires FFLs that have sold 25 or more guns over the course of a single year that are subsequently traced to violent crimes (within three years of their sale) to submit a report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) providing additional information on their sales practices under the Bureau’s Demand 2 program. The Clean Hands Firearm Procurement Act would leverage this ATF data to identify the small number of FFLs that are consistently and dramatically overrepresented in criminal activity and render them ineligible for federal contracts. 

“With gun violence continuing to ravage America’s social contract and terrorize our communities, it is incumbent on Congress to act swiftly to pass common-sense gun safety policy like our Clean Hands Firearm Procurement Act,” said Rep. Raskin. “The federal government should not be giving lucrative federal contracts to the bad-apple gun dealers who are consistently selling firearms to people who use them in violent crimes or transfer them to people who use them in violent crimes. I’m immensely grateful to Senator Padilla for his great leadership on public safety and partnership in this vital effort.” 

“Far too often, lucrative federal contracts are inexplicably awarded to firearm dealers who have been linked to dangerous crime,” said Senator Padilla. “Our commonsense legislation aims to combat senseless, preventable gun violence by ensuring that gun dealers follow responsible business practices to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands.” 

“Each year, a significant number of crime guns with indicators of trafficking are traced back to a small percentage of American gun dealers,” said Mark Collins, Director of Federal Policy, for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Taxpayer money should only be spent at responsible dealers that adopt safe business practices proven to prevent gun trafficking, and not at businesses that contribute to the American gun violence epidemic. The Clean Hands Firearm Procurement Act will ensure that the small portion of dealers that supply crime guns do not have the privilege of doing business with the federal government, and that only responsible actors in the gun industry receive coveted federal procurement contracts. Brady thanks Representative Raskin and Senator Padilla for introducing this important bill and for their continued commitment to free America from gun violence.” 

The ATF established the Demand 2 Program over two decades ago to improve its clearance rate for tracing firearms used in crimes. Crime gun tracing, administered by the National Tracing Center, establishes the chain of custody of firearms recovered by law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations, from their importer or manufacturer to their first retail purchase at an FFL, creating critical investigative links between a suspect and a recovered firearm. 

The Clean Hands Firearm Procurement Act is cosponsored by Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Sean Casten (IL-06), Danny Davis (IL-07), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Dan Goldman (NY-10), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Scott Peters (CA-50), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Delia Ramirez (IL-03) and David Trone (MD-06).