NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry.
Our mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry.
It's mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
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More on ATF Multiple Sales Reporting

An editorial in today’s Washington Post discussed the recent decision by ATF to require federally licensed firearms retailers along the Southwest border to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of most semi-automatic rifles.  Specifically this would impact semi-automatic rifles that are larger than .22 caliber,  capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

Though the Post supports this ill-advised proposal, it did acknowledge the legitimacy surrounding one of industry’s objections:

“When reports of its plan surfaced, the administration came under immediate attack from the gun rights lobby. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, argued that the administration lacked the legal authority to demand data on rifles and shotguns. It has a point: While Congress authorized the ATF to collect information on handgun sales, it declined to extend the requirement to long guns. A court is likely to be asked to decide whether demand letters may be used to shake loose this information …”

NSSF continues to oppose multiple sales reporting of semi-automatic rifles. Such reporting requirements will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.

NSSF would also like to remind all members of industry, sportsmen and gun owners to voice their concerns by doing the following:

1. Call the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulation Affairs, Department of Justice, Desk Officer at (202) 395-6466.

2. E-mail Barbara A. Terrell, ATF, Firearms Industry Programs Branch at Barbara.Terrell@atf.gov

3. Call your Senators and Representative: United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

4. Send an already formatted cap-wiz letter

Points to make:

  1. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
  2. Long guns are rarely used in crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
  3. Imposing multiple sales-reporting requirements for long guns would further add to the already extensive paperwork and record-keeping requirements burdening America’s retailers – where a single mistake could cost them their license and even land them in jail.
  4. Last year, ATF inspected 2,000 retailers in border states and only two licenses were revoked (0.1%). These revocations were for reasons unknown and could have had nothing to do with illicit trafficking of guns; furthermore, no dealers were charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
  5. According to ATF, the average age of a firearm recovered in the United States is 11 years old. In Mexico it’s more than 14 years old.  This demonstrates that criminals are not using new guns bought from retailers in the states.
  6. Congress, when it enacted multiple sales reporting for handguns, could have required multiple sales of long guns – it specifically chose not to.

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7 Responses to “More on ATF Multiple Sales Reporting”

  1. Ike

    1. By their own admission, ATF has overstated the “trafficking” problem and deliberately mislead Congress and the American People. Between 2008 and 2010, ATF quoted 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the United States. In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a draft report critical of Project Gunrunner, followed by a final version in November, 2010. The OIG analysis of ATF data shows, of the guns submitted for tracing, a much lower percentage of guns (about 27 percent) traced to the United States. These percentages significantly differ from those in ATF testimony before Congress

    When confronted with the OIG analysis, ATF then admitted to the OIG that the 90% figure cited to Congress is misleading. During this 2010 review by the OIG, ATF could not provide updated information on the percentage of traced Mexican crime guns that originated in or imported through the United States.

    2. ATF’s proposed reporting is overly broad. Rather than “a very narrow group of long guns” as ATF stated, the proposed rule includes a huge number of guns unlikely to be trafficked. Instead of specifying the guns ATF keeps saying are the problem (AK47, AR15, .50 caliber, etc.), they have included a huge number of curio and relic rifles up to 100 years old of interest mainly by collectors, and many rifles chambered for obsolete ammunition no longer manufactured.

    3. ATF’s proposed reporting constitutes a direct two-fold violation of the Firearm Owners Protection Act by requiring these records be transferred to the United States Government, and also constitutes a system of registration of firearms and firearm owners.

    “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, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary’s authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.”

    4. Once reported to ATF, these proposed registration records never go away, but permanently remain in ATF databases at the National Tracing Center, and if traced, will be reported to corrupt Mexican police.

    If a trace links to any of these records, even in error, many innocent American gun owners personal information (including name and address, height, weight, drivers license number, possibly Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, and all other guns linked to that last name and date of birth) will be reported with a trace. If your name is Smith (or Garcia in the Southwest), there are many people with the same date of birth!

  2. BlackDog

    How convenient that BATFE neglected to mention that the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT has been ‘legally’ selling weapons – M16s, shoulder-fired missles, grenades, Claymore mines, you name it, to Mexico since the 1970s as part of our Government Arms Exports (WE are the largest Arms Exporters in the world), or that the Colombian revolutionary group, FARC, has supplied weapons to anyone with the money to purchase them for decades. And how much more interesting that NONE of the weapons sold to Mexico by the US Government have been ‘traced.’ What I would like to know is where are these ‘Gun Dealers’ on this side of the border that are selling fully automatic weapons retail.

  3. Anonymous

    Why is it that when reports come out of Mexico, they ALWAYS mention that the drug cartels are using AUTOMATIC weapons and hand grenades. Last time I stopped in a local sporting goods store NONE of these items were for sale.

  4. azlandman

    It is probably llegal to single out one group of FFL dealers and not include all dealers nation wide. Certainly if it were a legislative act it would be illegal.

    What happened to the checks and balances?

  5. Larrytheliz

    Get rid of the A and the T, they are department of revenue problems. Concentrate on the problem at hand. When the 2nd amendment was written the weapon of the day was a single shot rifle and maybe a ball and cap 4 or 6 shot pistol. The only reason for individuals to possess the rapid fire firearms available today is to raise a revolutionary army or protect themselves from foreign invasion. I do not see the American people having the guts to begin a revolution even if it was needed and we do not have to worry about armed invasion as our competitors will dominate us economically not militarily. So that only leaves room for the the terrorists the mentally unbalanced and the odd collector the right to buy arms capable of mass murder. I have been a hunter all of my life. At no time did I consider it necessary to have a semi or fully automatic weapon. One shot is all that you need; two if you screw up. Control the weapons that are only meant to kill and wage war on society. If it is not a weapon that can be used for simple defense or hunting there is no place for it. Automatic and large capacity semi automatic arms are not the weapon of choice for anyone other than criminals or those intent on causing terrible physical injury to innocent people.

  6. MarcusJorgensen

    You are missing the point why the 2nd amendment was clarified in the bill of rights, it was not for hunting or sporting purposes that you have suggested, but to fight off a tyrannical government. Semi-autos are becoming even more common with hunting btw. You must not buy into the biased, misinformation and use commonsense. It does not matter what the weapon is, if some wack job intends to do another harm, they will!! Blame the one behind the trigger, not the hardware.

  7. Crampfan

    Hey larrytheliz im sure you could hunt with a rock! Your 2 amendment rights are not just about hunting or sport how will you stand when innocent people will need to be defended your family your friends your fellow countrymen with your single shot break open shotgun?
    Thousands of americans fought and died for not just your rights here as an american hunter and sportsmen you should be ashamed !!!!
    Stand before evil today or kneel before it tomorrow.