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Proposed Codes of Conduct for Gun Makers and Sellers

Everyone must play a part in helping to fix our gun violence epidemic, including gun makers and sellers, who can choose to adjust their business practices right now to not only save lives and protect our streets, but also strengthen the gun industry as a whole.

To secure the firearm supply chain and prevent guns from entering the illegal market, gun makers and sellers must:

  • Prevent sales to prohibited individuals and other suspect transactions
  • Detect and prevent thefts and straw purchases
  • Develop and market safer products
  • Hire and train responsible employees
  • Assist law enforcement
  • Promote public safety and maintain public accountability

Two different codes of conduct for gun manufacturers and dealers can help with these goals:

Safety Blueprint


  • Require distributors and dealers to adhere to a public code of conduct, and suspend contracts with those who violate it.
  • Track and monitor ATF trace requests and end relationships with distributors and dealers who account for a higher percentage of crime guns or have become the focus of law enforcement investigations.
  • Regularly audit distributors and dealers to ensure they are complying with all federal, state, and local regulations, and require that they provide reports detailing all ATF inspections and violations.
  • Commit to developing safer firearms, including those that:
    • cannot be operated by unauthorized users or fire unintentionally;
    • cannot accept high-capacity magazines; and
    • cannot be modified for a higher rate of fire.
  • Dedicate funds to advertising and social media campaigns that inform the public about the risks of owning firearms, the need for safe storage and training, and access to mental health services.

Safety Blueprint


  • Do not sell firearms until a background check is complete and the purchaser approved, even if the three-day, statutory “default proceed” period has passed.
  • Do not sell firearms or ammunition to individuals who appear intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or emotionally disturbed or unstable.
  • Do not sell firearms or ammunition to those who appear to pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • Do not sell firearms online or at gun shows unless the marketplace/venue requires all sellers to conduct background checks on prospective purchasers.
  • Offer background checks for unlicensed dealers engaged in private gun sales.
  • Do not sell firearms and ammunition outside of reasonable business hours.
  • Maintain a storefront and use surveillance equipment to record all firearm transactions.
  • Deny sales to suspicious individuals and report them to law enforcement (e.g., when one individual selects a firearm while another completes the purchase).
  • Store firearms safely, either in locked containers or with a locking device such as a rod or cable.
  • Use adequate locks, lighting, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems.
  • Create and maintain an electronic record of the make, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number of all firearms in inventory and perform periodic inventory checks.
  • Conduct background checks on all potential employees before hiring them.
  • Maintain records of which employees effectuate which sales; review records against ATF trace requests.
  • Report any ATF violations to gun suppliers “upstream.”
  • Show approved purchasers how to safely handle and secure firearms.
  • Provide customers with more information on safe storage and proper training, including courses that prioritize conflict avoidance and de-escalation.