U.S. House Votes to Block Unauthorized Record Keeping on Gun Owners

Posted on February 18, 2011

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Fairfax, Va. – The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Dan Boren (D-OK) and Denny Rehberg (R-MT) that prohibits the use of federal funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The measure passed the chamber (277-149) with broad bipartisan support.

“The reluctance of the Calderon and Obama administrations to face reality and pursue real solutions is costing the lives of law enforcement and civilians on both sides of the border,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “NRA has always and will continue to support any law enforcement initiative that targets criminals. Any proposal that only burdens law-aiding gun owners and retailers – as this proposal does – is a non-starter with the NRA. To put it very simply, if someone is breaking the law, go after them full bore. If they aren't, leave them alone.”

The BATFE is demanding the authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. Yet, under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements. This reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today’s most popular rifles – firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.

“On behalf of the tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners in America, I would like to thank Reps. Boren and Rehberg for their leadership on this important issue,” concluded Cox. “Every congressman who voted for this measure seeks real solutions to this tragic and violent problem that continues to escalate. In these trying times, limited resources should not be squandered on programs that will do nothing to address the heinous crimes occurring along our border.”

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