Federal Court Says Government Can Keep Collecting Gun Purchase Records in States Bordering Mexico
A federal court has ruled that the Obama administration can keep requiring gun dealers in states that border Mexico to report to the government when an individual buys certain types of firearms with certain features within a matter of days.
Currently federal firearms license dealers are supposed to report to the ATF when someone buys 2 handguns within a 5 business day period. This new policy is supposed to be an extension of that one.
The new policy is obviously meant to try and track and/or limit guns being smuggled into Mexico for drug cartel use. However, this is a curious reason since our own Justice Department was responsible for sending dozens if not hundreds of semi auto rifles into Mexico during the botched “Fast and Furious” gun walking operation which resulted in the death of at least one US agent.
The court rejected a lawsuit being brought by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA, shooting down all of their arguments.
First, the NSSF argued that the law was akin to creating a type of national registry, which is currently illegal, but the court rejected that idea saying, according to the opinion (Click to read PDF),
“The GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] unambiguously authorizes the demand letter,” Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote, joined by Judges Judith Rogers and Harry Edwards. “A national firearms registry is a large-scale collection of records…Because ATF sent the demand letter to only seven percent of [federal firearms licensees] nationwide and required information on only a small number of transactions, the July 2011 demand letter does not come close to creating a ‘national firearms registry.'”
Next, the NSSF tried to argue that the new requirements are too burdensome for gun dealers to follow. That reasoning was also rejected by the court,
“Searching records for multiple sales of a particular type of firearm to the same customer…is nothing new for FFLs. Since 1975, an FFL who sells ‘two or more pistols or revolvers [to the same person] at one time, or during any five consecutive business days’ has been required to submit a report to ATF similar to the one at issue,” Henderson wrote. “The fact that an FFL chooses to keep his records in alphabetical or numerical order does not mean that the FFL can complain if his choice may not always be the least burdensome. Moreover, there is nothing preventing an FFL from maintaining records in a less burdensome (in this case, chronological) manner.”
Just one more invasion of privacy on the lives of law abiding gun owners by the current administration.