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Everytown for Gun Safety Statement Opposing FOP President Chuck Canterbury’s Nomination as ATF Director

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety today released the following statement in opposition to the nomination of National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury to become the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“In the past, Chuck Canterbury and gun violence prevention advocates found common ground on the critical importance of expanding the background check system to cover all gun sales. It’s a common-sense policy supported by many in law enforcement and more than 90 percent of Americans, as well as the very agency he’s been nominated to run, the ATF,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We were disappointed to see Mr. Canterbury reverse his position on background checks today, and must oppose his nomination.”

The ATF has long encouraged background checks on unlicensed firearms sales, explaining in a 2016 Federal Firearms Licensee Guide that background checks on unlicensed sales “can enhance public safety, assist law enforcement, and help ensure firearms end up only in the hands of those who are legally allowed to possess them. … When a private transaction is completed through a licensed dealer, both the customers and the community have some assurance that the individual wishing to purchase the firearm is not prohibited by law from possessing or receiving a firearm. When a private seller goes through an FFL to transfer his or her firearm, it can also improve the ability of law enforcement to trace that firearm if it is later recovered during a criminal investigation.”