Gun control: New reporting requirements come under fire
It didn't take long for the fight to begin. Republicans in Congress are angry over a temporary new rule that would require gun dealers to report multiple sales of semiautomatic weapons.
Just one day after the new rule was announced, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriation bill to pull funding from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The new rule, which does not need congressional approval, would require about 8,500 gun dealers in four states along the border with Mexico to report multiple sales of semiautomatic weapons made within five days to the ATF. Similar reporting rules already exist for handguns.
The ATF rule won't impose any new restrictions on gun owners, who are still free to purchase guns. It will, however, require dealers to notify the agency.
On his website, Rehberg vowed to defeat the regulation, adding it was illegal and intended to create a national gun registry.
"Whether it's a new gun control law or a new gun control regulation, I will continue protect our Second Amendment rights from all efforts to undermine them," Rehberg wrote.
The Obama administration is promoting the rule as a way to combat the illegal flow of guns into Mexico.
The ATF seems to be in a tough position right now. A House investigation is currently looking into Fast and Furious, an operation intended to track straw purchases of guns back to drug cartels and gangs in Mexico. The ATF allowed the illegal purchases to be made but then lost track of many of the weapons. At least one of the guns turned up at the crime scene where a federal agent was shot to death.
The fight over the plan is just beginning, so stay tuned.
Photo: Mexican federal police stand next to seized weapons, including AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, during a presentation of members of the Zetas criminal organization and drug gang in May. Credit: Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters