Brady Campaign going after Firearm Owners Protection Act
From the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center and former mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., said the ATF had been greatly weakened by pro-dealer legislation Congress passed, including some laws dating to 1986. For example, if ATF agents make a surprise visit to a gun shop suspected of breaking the law, they are not allowed to make another surprise visit for 12 months, Helmke said. During that period, the ATF must warn the dealer in advance that they are coming."
Bullpucky. I'll put the real law in extended remarks below. Essentially:
1. ATF can inspect records anytime it traces a gun to the dealer.
2. It can inspect records anytime it has suspicion a third party (the shooter, or anyone who transferred to him) broke the law.
3. What's left is records where ATF has NO reason to believe the gun sold is linked to a crime. The reason for inspecting those is just to ensure the dealer is keeping his books correctly. That they can do, but no more than once a year.
(B) The Attorney General may inspect or examine the inventory and records of a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer without such reasonable cause or warrant—
(i) in the course of a reasonable inquiry during the course of a criminal investigation of a person or persons other than the licensee;
(ii) for ensuring compliance with the record keeping requirements of this chapter—
(I) not more than once during any 12-month period; or
(II) at any time with respect to records relating to a firearm involved in a criminal investigation that is traced to the licensee; or
(iii) when such inspection or examination may be required for determining the disposition of one or more particular firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.
So ATFE (which is a representative of the AG) may not only inspect once a year, with no reason at all, it may also inspect anytime, and as often as it wants, whenever a gun is traced to the dealer, and whenever it is called upon to investigate any gun buyer. The "once a year" limit only applies to dealers who never have a trace, and whose buyers never come under suspicion of having committed a crime.
I don't know whether this tells you more about the veracity of Brady, or about the reporter who buys the tale without asking anyone else about how the statute really reads.
And while they're at it, can they also get rid of the Hughes amendment on that bill??
Posted by: A.J. at January 23, 2007 02:11 PM
I sent the reporter a comment and a link to this and he responded saying he would put in a correction if the ATF corroborates this.
Posted by: Nathan Foster at January 23, 2007 03:37 PM