Since it first became a matter of public knowledge, back in December, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) was seeking the authority to require gun dealers to report multiple rifle sales, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner has been following the story. Although the BATFE claims to want “only” to force the reporting requirement on the approximately 8,500 gun dealers nearest the Mexican border, in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the request, if granted, would empower them to impose the requirement nationwide, and the precedent would bestow the presumption of legitimacy upon the requirement–hence the relevance even here in St. Louis.
Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK) clearly understands that one does not have to live in any of the four states named above, in order to find this proposed requirement to be a matter of grave concern, and over the weekend, he did something about it. From the Washington Post:
The measure passed with bipartisan support, 277 to 149, which added it to a massive spending bill that would keep the federal government running through September.
The amendment by Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from using federal money to require licensed firearm dealers to report multiple sales of assault weapons.
Keep in mind that this is the Washington Post we’re talking about here, and staff writer James V. Grimaldi, so when he says “assault weapons,” he is referring to any semi-automatic rifle of greater than .22 caliber (and keep in mind that .22 rimfire is, technically, “greater than .22 caliber”), that accepts detachable magazines.
Congressman Boren’s amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, with 41 Democrats voting for it, and only two who call themselves “Republicans”–Peter “72-Acre Constitution-Free Zone” King (R-NY), and Brian Bilbray (R-CA)–voting against.
Of course, the forcible citizen disarmament cheerleaders are not happy. The Washington Post article quotes John Feinblatt, whom the paper describes as “a chief aide” of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but whose role seems actually to be closer to NYC taxpayer-supported full-time Mayors Against Illegal Guns spokesman, as calling the amendment a “dangerous, anti-police measure.”
The Tulsa World says that “gun control” advocates are making this curious claim:
Opponents of Boren’s amendment cited the years-long drug war that continues along the U.S.-Mexican border.
They warned the amendment could make that war worse by making it more difficult to track bulk sales of assault weapons that are ending up in the hands of drug cartels.
Um . . . how would not changing the rules “mak[e] it more difficult” to track gun sales? Wouldn’t the BATFE’s sanctioning of “straw purchases” of Mexico-bound guns be what’s doing that?
The Hill quotes Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) making a similar claim, saying about the amendment that it “makes the drug war worse.”
The future of this legislative effort to block the BATFE’s agenda-driven power grab is up in the air. The amendment is attached to H.R. 1, an appropriations bill that faces stiff resistance, because of some significant spending cuts, in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and a threatened veto by President Obama. Still, Senate opposition to the BATFE’s reporting requirement scheme is considerable, with Montana’s two Senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester (both Democrats) having sent a letter of opposition, later to be joined by 17 more Senators, with their own letter.
A legislator need not even be a gun rights advocate to be vehemently opposed to the BATFE’s scheme. This clearly, and completely apart from the Second Amendment issues, is a case of the BATFE trying to legislate–something that the agency admits on its own website it cannot do:
ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law.
It’s about time the agency remembers that.
- BATFE hoping to bypass legislative process to impose draconian new requirements?
- Gun owners must speak up to stop long gun sales reporting requirement
- A comment to the BATFE
- BATFE shows its contempt for will of the people
- ATF ‘emergency’ long gun reporting an agenda-driven power grab
- Where is the ‘gun control’ movement’s outrage over ‘Project Gunwalker ‘?
- ‘Project Gunwalker’ protest can help kill ATF’s long gun reporting proposal
- ‘Suspect Person’: Another reason to fight mulitple rifle reporting requirement
- Grab bag of Gunwalker stuff: Silvestre-Reyes doesn’t get the memo; the Kiwis notice; Soldier of Fortune mirrors Sipsey Street
- Congressmen Boren & Rehberg amend HR1 to stop ATF registration