The Brady Campaign is very much in favor the ATF’s proposed “temporary” requirement that sales of more than one semi-automatic rifle with certain characteristics in a five day period be reported to ATF. I know that surprises no one. Here is their (as usual) misleading press release on the proposal:
Brady Campaign Applauds ATF Plan to Collect Reports of Bulk Weapons Sales
“A step toward battling Mexican gun violence”
Dec 17, 2010
Washington, D.C. – The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today applauded the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for its plan to issue an emergency rules change to require that federally-licensed gun dealers near the Mexico border report multiple sales of assault weapons.
Under the proposal published in the Federal Register today, certain gun dealers would be required by a “demand letter” issued by the ATF to alert the agency when they sell two or more semi-automatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines to the same person within five consecutive business days
“It makes sense that law enforcement should be alerted if someone is buying 5, 10, or 100 assault weapons, when it’s likely that those guns could be headed to drug cartels in Mexico,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign. “It will give ATF the same amount of information about people who buy military-style assault weapons in bulk that they already have had for more than 40 years about people who buy handguns in bulk. It’s the kind of crime-fighting information that our law enforcement officials ought to have if we want to reduce the number of assault weapons being trafficked illegally to Mexico, as well as to American cities.”
While the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby groups have already expressed strong opposition to this attempt to stop illegal gun trafficking and curb gun violence in Mexico, the Brady Campaign noted that the Obama Administration has clear legal authority to require the bulk sales reports. “Demand letters” were used during the Clinton administration to force dealers with high crime gun traces to submit additional information to the ATF and the courts have upheld their use. For example, in 2001, the 4th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to this authority by former NRA Board member and gun shop owner Sandy Abrams, whose license was eventually revoked for massive violations of federal gun laws.
The Brady Campaign also urged the Obama Administration to develop a comprehensive approach to gun violence by advancing policies to require background checks on all gun sales at gun shows, limit the bulk sales of guns and restrict access to military-style weapons. “Steps like these will improve our border security and our ‘hometown security’ in neighborhoods and communities of the United States,” added Helmke.