NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Rehberg Amendment to Block Unauthorized Sales Reports Advances on Capitol Hill

Friday, April 27, 2012

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations approved, by a vote of 30-19, an amendment offered by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), to prohibit the use of federal funds to carry out the BATFE’s requirement that firearm dealers in the four southwestern border states file “multiple sales” reports on individuals who buy more than one detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle of greater than .22 caliber in a five-day period.

The NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are challenging the reporting requirement in federal court, arguing that this “demand letter” program is illegal because Congress has specifically required multiple sales reports only on handguns, implicitly exempting other firearms from the requirement. And as Rep. Rehberg said after the committee’s vote, if the BATFE’s scheme is allowed to continue, it “could be expanded to other states using the same obscure regulatory process used to create the rule.”

BATFE--which as part of its Operation Fast and Furious knowingly allowed straw purchasers to obtain firearms in the United States for trafficking to Mexican drug cartels--contends that the rifle reports will help the agency identify and prosecute the very same activity.

So it’s no coincidence that, as the House committee prepared to vote on the Rehberg amendment, the agency released new data on firearms that were confiscated in Mexico between 2007 and 2011, and that Mexico subsequently asked the BATFE to trace.

As with most reports on such traces, the new data don’t pertain to firearms that have no U.S. manufacturer or importation markings, or that have markings indicating they originated in a country other than the United States. Mexico would not ask the BATFE to trace such firearms, because the agency cannot trace firearms that weren’t manufactured in, or imported into, the United States.

The mainstream media rarely include that distinction in their coverage, however. For example, in the headline to its report on the new data, CNN said “most firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes originate in U.S.” Deeper in the report, however, CNN quoted a BATFE spokesman saying “Our job is to provide the aggregate tracing figures and not to speculate,” and then added “Anti‑gun advocates were not so restrained. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D‑California, a leading gun‑control voice on Capitol Hill, said the figures are evidence of the need for stricter gun laws.”

Indeed Feinstein did. In a press release, Feinstein said “New ATF Data Proves Overwhelming Majority of Guns Recovered in Mexico Come from U.S.  . . . . This [sic] data makes it very clear that we need to increase our efforts to starve the supply of American weapons that arm Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations.” Similarly, longtime handgun prohibition activist Josh Sugarmann’s “organization”--the “Violence Policy Center”--titled its press release “Vast Majority of Mexican Crime Guns Originate in U.S. New ATF Trace Data Reveals.”

Feinstein and Sugarmann have to rely on misleading headlines because the data don’t support their agendas. Between 2007 and 2011, only 27.8 percent of the firearms for which traces were sought could be traced to U.S. purchasers. Thirty-nine percent were untraceable, most likely because they were sold in the United States long before the December 2006 start of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war on the cartels. (According to BATFE data released as part of the sales report litigation, even when a firearm can be traced, the average time between its initial U.S. sale and a trace request from Mexico was more than 15 years.)  The rest were not of U.S. manufacture, were of undetermined origin, or were traced to a foreign country.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Handgun ban? Fuggedaboudit! Nassau County DA Lifts Unconstitutional Restriction

Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New ...


Friday, September 18, 2015

CNN Poll Offers Bad News for Gun Controllers, Anti-gun Candidates

Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination – Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley – have spent significant effort in recent months trying to ...


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Jersey's Gun Control Trap

"They basically told me I'm one step below a murderer in the eyes of the New Jersey court." So ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

San Francisco Supervisors Drive All Gun Stores from City

When gun controllers contend that they aren’t out to prohibit civilian access to firearms, but simply want “responsible” ...


Thursday, August 6, 2015

North Carolina Governor McCrory Signs NRA-Backed Bill Into Law

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed NRA-backed House Bill 562 into law to improve a great deal of existing statutes ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...


Friday, September 25, 2015

When Anti-Gunners Say "Gun Safety," They Don't Mean It

In what can only be described as a blatant display of hypocrisy, two gun ban groups have started ...


Friday, May 8, 2015

Guns vs. Cars Comparison is No Accident

In the Art of War, Chinese military theoretician Sun Tzu advised, “appear weak when you are strong, and ...


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California’s Wildlife Resource Committee Continues to Operate without Procedures

On September 24, the National Rifle Association submitted a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission objecting ...


Friday, September 25, 2015

Witless for the Prosecution: New York DA Forces Staff to Forgo Second Amendment Rights

Madeline Singas, Acting District Attorney for Nassau County, New York, is a hypocrite. Worse, she is willing to ...


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.