Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

BATFE Requests “Emergency”<br> Authority To Track Semi-Automatic Rifle Sales

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.”  A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term. 

The reporting requirement will apparently be imposed under the “authority” the BATFE has used in the past to demand reporting of other types of transactions from certain limited groups of dealers over the past 10 years, but the new proposal is far broader than any previous use of this authority.  Of course, there's no law today that prevents dealers from reporting suspicious transactions (or attempted transactions) to the BATFE, and dealers often do so. The BATFE is also free to inspect dealers' sales recordseither for annual compliance inspections or during a criminal investigation.

NRA-ILA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, denounced the attempt to establish a registry of Americans who purchase semi-automatic rifles that gun control supporters ultimately want to see banned. "This administration does not have the guts to build a wall, but they do have the audacity to blame and register gun owners for Mexico's problems," Cox told the Post. "NRA supports legitimate efforts to stop criminal activity, but we will not stand idle while our Second Amendment is sacrificed for politics."

The Post says “The plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revives a proposal that has languished at the Justice Department and in the Obama administration for several months,” and that the gist of the plan was proposed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) last year. In its August 2009 Blueprint for Federal Action on Guns, MAIG indeed proposed that “ATF should identify the long guns most linked to crime and require dealers to report multiple sales of such guns.”

The idea must have appealed to the BATFE, because in June of this year Congress’ Government Accountability Office released a report noting that BATFE officials had claimed that U.S. efforts to stop the smuggling of firearms to Mexico are hindered by “a lack of required background checks for private firearms sales, and limitations on reporting requirements for multiple sales.”

Curiously, in September, a draft of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office’s unfavorable review of BATFE’s Project Gunrunner, established to combat the trafficking of firearms to Mexico, didn’t mention multiple sales at all. But the final version of the review, released in November, mentions “multiple sales” 43 times and says “the lack of a reporting requirement for multiple sales of long guns – which have become the cartels’ weapons of choice – hinders ATF’s ability to disrupt the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico.”

Whether BATFE intends its plan as another expansion of its oft-criticized firearm sales record tracing empire, or to lay the groundwork for legislation or regulations restricting “assault weapon” sales, or to fatten the files the agency keeps at its National Tracing Center in West Virginia remains to be seen. And the legality of requiring sales reports on any long guns is also in doubt. When the Congress specifically imposed multiple sales reporting on handguns only, it implicitly stated its intention that the same requirement not apply to sales of long guns. 

However, it is crystal clear that some in the Obama Administration agree with those who believe the answer to crime is always more gun control. In September, MAIG blamed crime in states that have “strong” gun laws, on states that don’t have the same laws. And ever since President Obama took office, gun control supporters have been blaming Mexico’s crime problem on America’s gun laws.

The fact that Mexico’s multi-billion dollar drug cartels have machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, and other potent weaponry you cannot buy in the United States is, to gun control supporters, irrelevant. The fact that most of the cartels’ guns have never been on this side of the U.S. border is, as far as they are concerned, a trifling inconvenience. The fact that the cartels will never have enough “assault weapons” or any other guns from the U.S. to hand out to all the Mexican policemen, soldiers and politicians on their payrolls, is, in their view, an unimportant detail.  And the fact that the murder rate in the United States is at a 45-year low, while crime in Mexico is through the roof (the murder rate in Juarez is 115 times higher than in El Paso) is, they would certainly say, a contradiction best ignored.

To read the BATFE's Federal Register notice about the plan, and for information on how to send your comments, click here (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-31761.pdf).  Comments about the proposal will be accepted for two months; if you choose to comment, please state your firm but polite opposition to the plan.

Needless to say, the NRA will not only comment, but take whatever other action is appropriate to block this sweeping expansion of federal recordkeeping on gun owners.  Stay tuned.

Members of Congress have sent letters to BATFE in opposition to this reporting requirement and you can view them below.

36 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Oppose Proposed Reporting Requirement

Montana Senators Oppose Proposed Reporting Requirement

U.S. Senators Oppose Proposed Reporting Requirement

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

As an incorporated provision of the United States Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the supreme law of the land, applying to all U.S. jurisdictions and to the actions of federal, state, and local ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Washington: Mag Ban &amp; Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

In the days leading up to the annual lobby day in Richmond, Va.—where thousands of Virginians traditionally lobby their legislators on numerous issues – an unprecedented number of supporters of the Second Amendment were expected ...

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

California: Firearm &amp; Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

Despite the peaceful, orderly, and diverse gun rights protest that attracted tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to the state capitol, Virginia’s Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly has continued to push forward a radical anti-gun agenda.

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Monday, January 27, 2020

West Virginia: School Calendar Bill Could Affect Youth Hunting Opportunities

Most West Virginia public school systems close for the opening week of deer hunting season for the benefit of students, staff, and their families to enjoy their hunting heritage. House Bill 2433 will impose a one-size-fits-all calendar ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.