“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,” the National Shooting Sports Foundation warns in a Dec. 17 statement.*
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.
You can read the ATF mandate in its Federal Register Notice, where they call it a “60-Day Emergency Notice of Information Collection.” What the “emergency is, or why it’s an emergency now remain unsaid, although they do invite public comment, and they even direct what they want you to talk about:
Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:
—Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
—Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
—Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
—Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.
That’s funny. I don’t see anything in there about “Assess where in the Constitution such authority in data-gathering is determined consistent with the intent of the Founders that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’” I guess that kind of archaic thinking generally results in a scornful “Are you serious?” rejection these days…
But, of course, the rest of their criteria is just a smokescreen for expanding Bureau control and won’t make a damn bit of difference in protecting lives, liberty or property—but instead have the opposite effect. We know this is but another act of security theater—ushered in with a blitz by complicit anti-gun media—to blame “lax U.S. gun laws” for Mexican crime, to “close the gun show loophole,” to bypass current Congressional prohibitions against establishing a national gun registration database, to implement Michael Bloomberg’s “illegal mayors” wish list, and to otherwise push the envelope of what edicts they can get away with imposing outside the scope of legislative oversight and consent—not to mention to deflect attention away from the very serious need to conduct corruption oversight hearings, especially before allowing them to amass even more unchecked power…
And don’t count on the measure being “temporary,” either.
Here’s what gun owners interested in trying to stop this new usurpation need to do:
First, learn more. In addition to the NSSF statement and the Federal Register Notice, here are some, but certainly not all, additional resources:
- BATFE Requests “Emergency” Authority To Track Semi-Automatic Rifle Sales
- Gun owners must speak up to stop long gun sales reporting requirement
- A comment to the BATFE
- BATFE and Proposed “Two-A-Day” Long Arms Regulation
- ATF long arms Google search
- Plus various discussion boards and blogs you may frequent.
Then, take ATF up on its offer and communicate your sentiments to them—the NSSF statement gives contact information for the DOJ OMB, ATF and the Capitol switchboard, plus some talking points. This is very important—do not sit back and think someone else will pick up the slack. YOU need to do this, and without delay, and just in case you’re inclined to blow it off with the excuse that it’s no use, I’m here to tell you from personal experience that such deferral is nonsense. One person can make a difference in these things, and all of us together, if we would only realize it and then act like it, would be unstoppable.
When you contact your representatives, tell them you expect leadership in halting this and in demanding oversight hearings on ATF. Tell them non-committed equivocation will not be an acceptable response.
Finally, do what you can to spread the word to other gun owners, and encourage—hell, bug them relentlessly to follow suit.
* Difficulties connecting with the NSSF link have been reported. If you cannot access it, try this Google cache link as an alternative.
12/20 Update: It seems communicating to ATF on this is not a simple and straightforward propsition. Read this report from GunLeaders.com, send the link to your friends, and make sure you all pitch in and make your views known.
A matter of resolve
Last year at this time, I came up with a series of New Year’s Resolutions to count down the days until January 1. Since they’re pretty much evergreen, I’m going to refer to them again this year, as something for newcomers to this column to consider, and as a reminder for those of you who have been long-time readers. Here’s today’s:
- New Year’s gun rights resolution: Shoot a machine gun
Help wanted–inquire within
Regular readers: Please help me spread the word by sharing Gun Rights Examiner links with your friends via emails, and in online discussion boards, blogs, etc.? (Also note “Share” options, below.) Then get more commentary at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.