New Gun Law Blocks 500+ Purchases since Start in 2022

WASHINGTON — Since the implementation of a new gun law in 2022, more than 500 gun purchases have been stopped due to stricter background checks on young people, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The bipartisan law, which was passed in June 2022, requires additional checks for any gun purchases by individuals under the age of 21.

The Justice Department revealed that those denied a gun purchase included individuals convicted of serious crimes, such as rape, as well as suspects in attempted murder cases, and individuals involuntarily committed for mental-health treatment. This legislation was introduced in response to a series of mass shootings, including a tragic incident in Texas where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

President Biden praised the news, hailing it as a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat gun violence. He also advocated for additional measures, such as universal background checks and a ban on firearms often referred to as assault weapons. The president expressed his commitment to continue fighting for further action to address gun violence in America.

The announcement comes on the heels of a devastating school shooting in Iowa, where a 17-year-old, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, killed a sixth grader and injured five others on the first day of classes in 2024. While it remains unclear how the shooter acquired the weapons, federal law prohibits individuals under 18 from legally purchasing guns.

The 2022 law also includes provisions to prevent firearms from reaching domestic violence offenders and support the implementation of red flag laws. These measures aim to streamline the process for authorities to confiscate weapons from individuals deemed dangerous. Following the implementation of the law, 527 firearms have been prevented from being sold after additional checks with state and local officials, along with FBI databases.

Attorney General Garland emphasized the importance of continued efforts to address gun violence, highlighting overall declines in homicides in many U.S. cities. Despite the progress, Garland stressed the need to remain vigilant, stating, “We have so much more to do.” The law marks a significant step in promoting public safety and addressing the pervasive issue of gun violence in the United States.