As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently republished its proposal to require firearm dealers to report multiple sales of various rifles. Compared to its initial request in December, which was rejected as an "emergency" request, the new notice clarifies that the proposed requirement would apply only to dealers in four southwestern states, and would apply only to semi-automatic rifles of a caliber greater than .22 (including .223) and that can use detachable magazines. The notice fails to address the NRA's comments, which pointed out that the agency has no legal authority to demand this information.
The BATFE estimates that roughly 2,500 dealers would be required to file such reports, about one-third of all dealers in the four affected states, and compliance with the requirement would take the average dealer about 1.5 hours annually.
The BATFE says that comments should address whether the information in the reports would be useful and whether the BATFE correctly estimated the burden that a multiple sales reporting requirement would impose on dealers.
Comments may be e-mailed to [email protected] (note the underscore after "oira") or faxed to 202-395-7285 until May 31. Disturbingly, the comments on the first proposal ran more than 2-1 in favor of this useless and unauthorized bureaucratic fishing trip; the new notice gives gun owners the opportunity to correct that situation.