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« June 2011 | Main | September 2011 »

ALERT: ATF To "Demand" Rifle-Sale Records Aug 14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BATFE To Issue "Demand Letter" To Dealers This Week

Multiple Rifle Sales Reports to Begin on August 14

Prior Belief That Executive Order Would "Enact" This Was In Error

FBI May Be Implicated in BATFE Gun Smuggling Program

NICS System Allowed Prohibited Sales



PHOENIX -- July 25, 2011
by Alan Korwin
The Uninvited Ombudsman
Full contact info at end


According to four BATFE agents familiar with the planned Fast and Furious gun-smuggling "fix," the bureau plans to release a "demand letter" by the end of this week, insisting that gun dealers in the four Mexico-border states begin reporting multiple rifle sales to the bureau.

All multiple rifle sales made to the same buyer within a five-day period will have to be reported beginning on August 14, on a form to be announced, according to the agents. The order will exclude rifles in .22 caliber, and rifles without detachable magazines. The agents acknowledged that congressional action, lawsuits, an injunction or other court orders might forestall the implementation of the hastily concocted scheme. Such preventive measures are already underway.

The rumored executive order to require gun dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to begin reporting multiple rifle sales to BATFE will not be issued. A previous Page Nine report that referred to the expected EO now appears incorrect. It is possible that the uproar over the program caused the administration to change its approach, and put all the heat on BATFE to "enact" law without Congress. The EO was widely reported and anticipated.

An exhaustive examination of statutory authority under which BATFE is required to operate revealed no legitimate power to demand these records, though the agents claimed they do have authority (two younger ones said they have no control over the process, and were simply following along). When questioned if they would consider resigning if asked to implement an illegally introduced rule, the agents all either declined to answer or said no, they would not resign.

Because a buyer will have to be identified to show that the sales reflect purchase by one person, the record collections will be a gun registry tied to gun ownership, which is strictly forbidden under federal law. No requirement to destroy these records exists, since no authority to collect the records exists. The BATFE agents said they would not be keeping the records, because they "lack authority," but could not identify a time frame in which the registry information would be destroyed, or any audit trail.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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