In a move that has been praised by gun rights advocates and gun owners alike, the Department of Homeland Security has rejected a request to allow firearms sales to people who have been convicted of felonies or have been adjudicated mentally ill.
In a statement to Business Insider, the ATF told Business Insider that it has not yet received any specific information that would support its contention that such sales would be in violation of existing regulations.
“The ATF’s Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI) and the Office of General Counsel (OGC) have received no specific information indicating that firearms sales would violate existing law,” the ATF said in the statement.
“There is currently no public information indicating an individual who has been adjudged as a mental health condition or who has a history of mental health issues would be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.”
The statement goes on to note that, “the OGC and OCI will review any information that may be obtained in response to this request to determine whether any such information is responsive to the DOJ’s request.”
The ATF also added that it will be working with the DOJ to ensure that “no firearms sales will occur to any person who has committed a felony, a domestic violence offense, or who is a member of any gang.”
The OGC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In September, ATF Director Andrew McCabe announced that he would seek an extension of his agency’s existing ban on firearm sales by convicted felons and certain domestic violence offenders.
The ATF said at the time that it would not appeal the decision, which was also met with a chorus of condemnation from gun owners and supporters who said that such a decision could have an adverse effect on public safety.
In October, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring the sale of firearms to anyone who has ever been convicted or is adjudicated as a mentally ill person.
The ban applies to anyone convicted of a felony or domestic violence incident, regardless of whether the offense occurred before the ban took effect.