Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stop the tracking of multiple gun sales

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is seeking authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber (bullet diameter) and use detachable magazines. (Even a Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle at .223 caliber -- the same caliber as an AR-15 highpower rifle -- would seem to fit that criteria. See photo at right.) The BATFE already tracks multiple sales of handguns nationwide. I suspect that this new move by the BATFE is to get its foot in the door for a nationwide registry of multiple long gun sales.

The irony in this move by the BATFE is that the bureau has been encouraging the flow of thousands of firearms to Mexican drug cartels -- something this new regulatory move is supposed to stop! This is evidence that the BATFE doesn't really care if criminals or agents of foreign gangs buy lots of guns -- they only care if responsible Americans buy more than one gun.

Under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements. This new reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today's most popular rifles--firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.

The renegade BATFE must be brought under control if not disbanded altogether. Both the President and Congress have a responsibility to do so immediately.

Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) introduced S.570 -- "a bill to prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloging the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns." The bill would prohibit the use of federal funds for a multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Last month, the US House of Representatives adopted an amendment with similar language. That amendment passed the House with broad bipartisan support.

I would make one change S.570, however -- prohibit the tracking of multiple handgun sales as well, since there is no evidence that this tracking has solved or prevented any crime that could not have been accomplished with other existing laws and tools.

I urge immediate enactment of legislation to bring the BATFE under control including S.570 and HR.1093 -- the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform Act).

No comments:

Post a Comment