ATF to Require Multiple Sales Reports for Long Guns

December 17, 2010 By Larry Keane View Comments [READ the comments!!!]

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is moving to require federally licensed firearms retailers to report multiple sales of modern sporting rifles beginning January 5, 2011. Specifically, the ATF requirement calls for firearms retailers to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

Today’s Washington Post [READ!] suggests that the reporting mandate would be limited to retailers along the Southwest border; however, the Federal Register Notice does not limit the geographic scope of the reporting requirement.

This ATF “emergency” mandate was originally pushed by the anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition, headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, more than a year and a half ago. And the Post reports that the Department of Justice has “languished” over this plan for several months. Given this timetable, it’s hard to see exactly where the “emergency” is.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation opposes this reporting requirement because it further burdens America’s law-abiding firearms retailers with yet another onerous regulation that will do nothing to curb crime. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement, thereby driving traffickers further underground. This is not unlike how criminals maneuvered around one-gun-a-month laws in states like Virginia – which is still considered an “exporting source state” by anti-gun organizations like the MAIG despite its restrictions on the number of firearms law-abiding residents may purchase.

Multiple sales reporting for long guns is an ill-considered mandate and one that ATF does not have the legal authority to unilaterally impose. In fact, ATF has not specified under what legal authority it presumes to act. The decision as to whether ATF can move forward with this agenda-driven mandate will be left to Cass Sunstein who heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). This is the same Cass Sunstein who in a 2007 speech at Harvard University said, “We ought to ban hunting, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”

NSSF will be submitting comments in opposition to this registration scheme and is encouraging all firearms retailers, sportsmen and enthusiasts to do the same.

Please voice your concern by doing the following:

1. Call the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulation Affairs, Department of Justice, Desk Officer at (202) 395-6466.

2. E-mail Barbara A. Terrell, ATF, Firearms Industry Programs Branch at Barbara.Terrell@atf.gov

3. Call your Senators and Representative: United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Points to make:

  1. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
  2. Long guns are rarely used in crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
  3. Imposing multiple sales-reporting requirements for long guns would further add to the already extensive paperwork and record-keeping requirements burdening America’s retailers – where a single mistake could cost them their license and even land them in jail.
  4. Last year, ATF inspected 2,000 retailers in border states and only two licenses were revoked (0.1%). These revocations were for reasons unknown and could have had nothing to do with illicit trafficking of guns; furthermore, no dealers were charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
  5. According to ATF, the average age of a firearm recovered in the United States is 11 years old. In Mexico it’s more than 14 years old. This demonstrates that criminals are not using new guns bought from retailers in the states.
  6. Congress, when it enacted multiple sales reporting for handguns, could have required multiple sales of long guns – it specifically chose not to.

http://www.nssfblog.com/atf-to-require-multiple-sales-reports-for-long-guns

Our Comment: More bureaucratic administration where the emphasis should be on ENFORCEMENT, particularly along the border. We don’t need more laws/policy/interpretations based upon poor fact, emotion, and the “do-something” attitude even if misdirected.

In CT, it is well know that many, if not most, gunowners/retailers are confused concerning both Federal & State gun laws. A prime CT example of this is the emotion based, no fact, so-called “Assault Weapon” law, which virtually none understand the reason for, and neither gunowners nor the State Police can adequately answer questions on this inane bill which has only affected law-abiding citizens. Efforts to revise CT gun laws including the duplicative state “Bound Book”, Long-gun waiting period, the virtually unused “Certificate of Eligibility”, and other unneeded bureaucratic exercises do nothing to control criminal gun activity yet continue to find little support for repeal/change in our legislature. Perhaps our best action would be to voluminously ask our veteran CT legislators the questions that are normally queried of CCS or firearms attorneys. Forcing them or their aides to investigate the hundreds of CT gun laws may reveal the frustrations most gunowners suffer and serve as a self-education implementer. Concerning ALL gun laws, our situation is as Madison stated:

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” —JAMES MADISON

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