More on ATF extending multiple sales reports to rifles
I'd noted earlier that ATFE has issued a proposed rule that will require reporting of multiple sales of rifles that accept detachable magazines. Here's the formal notice.
Dealers have long been required to report multiple sales of handguns to the same person within five business days of each other, but this is the first attempt to extend it to rifles. The core concern with the reporting is that the dealer not only logs the sale in his records, but must report it (with full description of the firearm and the purchaser) to the agency, which (it is safe to assume) computerizes it.
There are several violations of the Gun Control Act, as amended by the Firearm Owners' Protection Act. First, 18 USC §926(b) provides "The Attorney General shall give not less than ninety days public notice, and shall afford interested parties opportunity for hearing, before prescribing such rules and regulations." This is stricter than the Admin Procedure Act's general provision for a "reasonable" comment period, and it has no emergency exceptions. ATFE is only giving 30 days' notice.
Second, the FOPA amendments were intended to cut off future requirements of direct reporting -- I say future because the existing regs (including reporting of multiple handgun sales were grandfathered in, but limited to those specific requirements. Thus far and no farther.
18 USC §926(a) allow promulgation of necessary rules and regulations, adding:
"No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof..." Moreover, 18 USC §923(g)(3), which required multiple sales reporting, specifically limits it to handguns: reporting is required when a dealer "at one time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totalling two or more, to an unlicensed person."
It's time to contact legislators about this, pointing out the illegality, and asking them to lodge protests with agency and with the Office of Management and Budget, which is being called upon to approve the request, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.
I've sent emails to both my senators and my (newly elected) Representative.
Posted by: Sean D Sorrentino at December 22, 2010 05:50 PM
When they say "to an unlicensed person" do they mean someone without a CCW, or an FFL?
Posted by: Bob H at December 22, 2010 07:17 PM
@Bob - in the context of Federal firearms laws, an unlicensed person is someone who does not hold an FFL (or the right class of FFL for the transaction, such as a C&R).
Posted by: James at December 22, 2010 11:43 PM
Aside from the Congressional Intent of the cited laws, and legalities being tossed aside by the BATFE, the U.S. should 'remind' Mexico that we are a sovereign nation and not accountable to them. THEY are the ones that need to get their acts together, up to and including arming their own citizens which for some strange reason they fear. Once their gangs & members cross into the U.S. we can leave them to the 'tender mercies'(?) of ICE.
Posted by: desertrat at December 24, 2010 12:09 AM
ATF has been ignoring the FOPA for years - and no one has called them on it. Look at ATF Ruling 2008-2 requiring dealers going out of business to send in their "bound book" as a computer file in addition to a printout. Look at the registration files being kept by the National Tracing Center (All traced guns, 'suspect' guns, etc.)
This time, ATF announced the semi-auto rifle reporting was for six months. Now it’s become a “pilot project for a period of one year”. What’s next? Hmmmm – pilot project…..? What follows a “pilot project”?
So, it’s only “to identify criminal firearms traffickers”, right? How does reporting the sale of a WWII German K-43 rifle and a WWII M1 Carbine to a collector “identify criminal firearms traffickers”? Or two Remington Model 742 hunting rifles?
This effort is a load of horse manure….. Designed to expand ATF’s firearm registration files and has little to do with “firearms traffickers”.
ATF claims AK47 and AR15 rifles are the “problem”. So why didn’t identify those to report instead of everything? Clearly, ATF has more in mind than they admit.
For more information or ATF registration files, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETrace
Posted by: Ike at December 26, 2010 03:37 PM
It doesn't change the authority of the ATF to issue this requirement, but according to a transcript of a webcast from the Acting Director of the ATF (see http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2010/12/122010-hdqrts-melson-webcast.html ) this reporting requirement ONLY applies to semiautomatics in "a caliber greater than .22" (Query - is 223 greater than 22 for this purpose? - I'd guess yes, but it's not clear)that take detachable magazines, AND ONLY applies to FFLs in TX, NM, AZ & CA. Those details are not in the Federal Register page linked above, so I'm not sure where they actually appear.
Posted by: wrangler5 at December 28, 2010 08:10 AM
The rationale for this reporting requirement, according to a webcast from the Acting Director of the ATF ( http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2010/12/122010-hdqrts-melson-webcast.html ) is that the 4 border states to which this applies "are major source states for crime guns seized in Mexico and traced to federal firearms licensees."
IIRC, earlier articles on these "crime guns" indicated that (1) a relatively small percentage (under 20%, I think) of guns seized in Mexican crimes were actually put through the US tracing system, and (2) of those successfully traced, the majority had been reported stolen from their lawful owners.
If this is so, what possible legitimate purpose could there be for tracing mostly STOLEN guns to their original FFL seller?
Posted by: wrangler5 at December 28, 2010 08:30 AM
Sent my representative an email, quoted you entirely as well.
Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by: 1idvet at December 28, 2010 09:31 AM