Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Council on Foreign Relations Pushes Executive Gun Controls

Friday, August 2, 2013

Following in the well-worn footsteps of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns, this week the Council on Foreign Relations released a memo urging the Obama administration to disregard the will of the American people and Congress and unilaterally enact a series of gun controls. Entitled, A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas, and written by CFR Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies, Julia F. Sweig, the memo pins the ills of Central and South America on U.S. gun owners and urges the president to curb our rights to cure them.

Leading off CFR's wish list is a call to expand the current semi-auto rifle reporting scheme nationwide. Since 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has required that all firearms dealers in the Southwest border states report to it the sale to one purchaser within a five-day period of two or more semiautomatic center-fire rifles of a caliber greater than .22. The result of this program is the registration of gun owners who choose to purchase more than one firearm at a time and significant additional paperwork burdens for dealers.

In the Gun Control Act of 1968, Congress specifically limited a reporting scheme of this type to the sale of handguns. However, BATFE enacted the current requirement by twisting a procedure originally intended by Congress to allow the agency to query dealer records for legitimate and limited criminal investigations; the demand letter. Attempts by NRA to bind BATFE to their congressionally authorized functions through litigation on this issue have been unsuccessful, and to further expand the program would even more egregiously divorce BATFE's abuse of the demand letter process from any notion of Congressional authority.

In justifying the expansion, Sweig claims that an unintentional side-effect of the current tracking program is that firearms traffickers are moving their purchases from the Southwest border states to avoid detection, "prompting the need for improved oversight of all suspicious semiautomatic firearm sales." Wildly overbroad, under CFR's plan, the purchase of a matching pair of Remington 7400 rifles in Maine for a father-son hunting trip would be considered "suspicious" and reportable.

Additionally, the CFR memo urges a new round of bans on the importation of popular firearms using the frequently abused "sporting purposes" test, which tasks the Attorney General with determining whether a firearm is "suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes," as a requirement for importation. Never constitutional, the illegitimate use of the test has become more apparent in recent years, given Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in the Heller decision that made clear that self-defense, not sport shooting, is the "central component" of the Second Amendment right. Further, the increasing use of semi-auto firearms in the shooting sports should preclude the type of bans Sweig has in mind.

Seemingly unfamiliar with the concept of federalism, Sweig also encourages the White House to "back state and local legislation, based on reforms in Maryland and Connecticut." Among the controls that should be exported according to Sweig are bans on popular semi-auto firearms and their magazines, and the modernization of "gun-owner registries by requiring, among other things, that buyers submit their fingerprints when applying for a gun license."

To bolster her arguments, Sweig relies on the thoroughly debunked statistic that "Over 70 percent of the ninety-nine thousand weapons recovered by Mexican law enforcement since 2007 were traced to U.S. manufacturers and importers." As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox explained in a letter to the Washington Post and in numerous other venues, "Mexican police trace only a fraction of the guns they seize, and they are specifically trained not to request U.S. traces on guns without U.S. markings."

U.S. Diplomatic cables made available in 2011 and publicized by Latin American newspapers support the NRA's position. A cable publicized by Mexico City newspaper La Jornada noted that the then-popular claim that 90 percent of firearms in Mexico came from the U.S. was wrong for the same reasons, stating, "Claims by Mexican and U.S. officials that upwards of 90 percent of illegal recovered weapons can be traced back to the U.S. is based on an incomplete survey of confiscated weapons. In point of fact, without wider access to the weapons seized in Mexico, we really have no way of verifying these numbers." Further, in 2011, then head of U.S. Southern Command testified to Congress that more than 50 percent of military grade weapons in the region were sourced from Central America.

In arguing for the executive end-runs, Sweig also laments that with U.S. "unwillingness to strengthen oversight of the firearms industry," the BATFE was only able to intercept an estimated 15 percent of firearms being trafficked into Mexico between 2010 and 2012. Conspicuously absent is any mention of BATFE's misguided operations that facilitated such trafficking.

NRA-ILA will monitor any actions taken by the Obama administration to implement the plans outlined in the CFR memo and work to ensure that U.S. gun owners do not become the scapegoats for ineffectual governance in Central and South America.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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 as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

You likely recall we mentioned a new anti-gun organization recently formed, which was billed as the brainchild of actress Alyssa Milano.  You may also recall that we reported her group, NoRA, had made the vaguely threatening proclamation, ...

News  

Friday, April 27, 2018

NRA Statement on Yeti

The National Rifle Association released the following statement from in response to Yeti’s inaccurate statements:

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee considered and passed multiple anti-gun measures. 

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

The headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their ...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ALERT! Can't Wait for Your YETI Cover Up Stickers?

Approximately 100,000 free stickers, proudly displaying the message "I STAND WITH THE NRA FOUNDATION," were distributed at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas last week.  These stickers were designed to cover up the YETI ...

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.