Friday, August 5, 2011

Arizona Gun Store Sues Feds Over ATF Order Requiring Tracking of Long Gun Sales in Border States

A Yuma, AZ gun shop is one of two plaintiffs suing the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms over a directive to report multiple sales of long guns at gun stores in border states.

The directive, which was passed last month, requires that stores report to the ATF purchases of two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber over the span of five days. The ATF Order comes amid Congressional hearing on the ATF's disatrous Operatation Fast & Furions in which senior ATF officials ordered field agents to allow guns purchased by suspected straw buyers in the USA to 'walk', i.e. be illegally exported to Mexico where they were sold to cartels and other criminal organizations before eventually turning up at crime scenes on both sides of the border- including the fatal December 2010 shooting of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The move comes after gun control advocates met with Obama administration and Justice department officials earlier this year. In a quote attributed to none other than Sarah Brady, President Obama assured prominent gun control adovcates in a meeting that he was working on gun control 'under the radar'- in other words, through regulatory means and executive orders instead of leaving the volatile and often unpopular issue to the Senate or House of Representatives prior to an election year.

While at first blush, the ATF directive may not seem particularly onerous, kindly consider that this is the agency whose senior officials allowed thousands of weapons to be illeaglly exported to Mexico where they were used by criminal gangs and cartels to kill scored Mexican civilians, public officials, police officers and soliders. Now THE VERY SAME AGENCY is responsible for enforcing this directive?

Even more galling, many retailers were repeatedly warning the ATF about suspicous customers during the Fast & Furious operation; the agency urged them to continue with the transactions nonetheless.

It's also worth contemplating how this month-old directive would prevent arms trafficking when according to diplomatic cables released via Wikileaks, the Mexican cartels are increasingly arming themselves with military-grade weaponry such as rocket launchers, grenades and plastic explosives from poorly-guarded military armories in Central America, not semiautomatic rifles or shotguns from US retailers.

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