In the debate over stripping funding from the ATF’s new multiple rifle sale reporting requirement in the Southwest, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said removing the funding from the rule would be akin to “virtual wholesale slaughter.” His comments, as reported in The Hill, go on:
“The NRA is so afraid that the people who are really funding the NRA, the gun manufacturers, might lose some sales that we’re willing to sacrifice the lives of these people that are casualties of this gun war,” Moran said during the markup.
“And we’re promoting it. We’re enabling … that slaughter to continue,” Moran said.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation did not take Moran’s comments lying down. They responded with a blistering 3-page letter which took him to task over his comments. The full letter is here.
First, NSSF General Counsel Larry Keane points to Moran that ATF was never given the authority by Congress to impose the reporting requirement.
We are filing the lawsuit on behalf of our members challenging ATF’s new record keeping and reporting requirement because Congress never gave ATF the legal authority to impose this requirement. In 1986, Congress amended the Gun Control Act to require the multiple sale reporting of handguns. Congress could have, but did not, require reporting of long guns.
Then, the NSSF reminds Moran that it is the NSSF that speaks for the firearms industry.
Please allow me to correct another misunderstanding. The people who are really funding the NRA are its 4 million members. The NRA does not speak for the firearms industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry – we, not the NRA, are the voice of our industry
Next, Keane points out that the new reporting requirement will make it harder for FFL’s to spot straw purchasers and proactively report them to ATF.
..the policy is ill-advised as it will actually make it more difficult for firearms retailers to cooperate with law enforcement, as illegal firearms traffickers quickly modify their schemes to circumvent the new reporting requirement. They can simply send a straw purchaser to multiple dealers, recruit more straw purchasers, spread out the purchases beyond five business days, or acquire firearms in non-border states. America’s firearms retailers, the very people ATF identifies as their “partners” and the first line of defense, will no longer be able to detect suspicious purchases and alert the proper authorities.
Finally, he discusses the decade-old “Don’t Lie For The Other Guy” program that NSSF has funded to the tune of $5 million dollars and then reminds Moran they sought his help for more funding to expand the program.
About a year ago, we visited your office to seek your help as a member of the Appropriations committee in securing grant funding for the Don’t Lie program so we could grow and expand the program and deliver its message throughout the country. Unfortunately, you did not provide the bipartisan leadership we had hoped for.
In other words, Jim Moran is not just an ignorant tool of the gun banners but a hypocrite as well. When he had the chance to help expand the Don’t Lie program, he took a pass.
Lest it be forgotten, during Operation Fast and Furious, firearms stores in Arizona reported the suspicious sales of firearms, requested that the sales be denied, and were specifically told to go through with the sales by ATF to what were obvious straw purchasers. The guns didn’t walk to Mexico because of FFLs; they walked under orders from ATF and DOJ.