NSSF Statement on Court’s Backing of Multiple Sales Reporting

Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation released this statement today regarding U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer’s decision to allow the ATF to continue requiring multiple sales reporting for certain semi-automatic rifles in the Southwest.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is, of course, disappointed by today’s ruling. We respectfully disagree with the court’s reasoning which places our industry on a “slippery slope.” Today’s ruling will allow ATF to demand whatever information it wants from any law-abiding retailer anywhere in the country for any reason ATF wants simply by sending a letter demanding information. While we understand ATF’s motivation is to try to curtail violence in Mexico, Congress simply has not granted ATF regulatory carte blanche. NSSF looks forward to having the Court of Appeals review the district court’s flawed decision.

Our industry abhors the criminal misuse of firearms, whether on the streets of El Paso, Texas, or in Juarez, Mexico. Notwithstanding our forthcoming appeal, NSSF is continuing to encourage all retailers — not just those along the border — to cooperate with law enforcement and report any suspicious activity to the ATF. Members of the firearms industry take great pride in their longstanding cooperative relationship with ATF. Retailers have long been considered by ATF to be a vital source of information for law enforcement in combating illegal firearms trafficking.

I think the key word in this is “appeal”. They are not going to just give up and let things lie as they are which is good. I think you will also a bigger push for Sen. Jon Tester’s S. 570 which would prohibit DOJ from doing this. It currently has 33 sponsors including a number of Democrats. However, it seems to be languishing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S. 570 – No Tracking Of Multiple Long Gun Purchases

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is serious about getting the gun owner’s vote when he comes up for re-election in 2012. In February, he introduced S. 381, the Collectible Firearms Protection Act, which would amend the Arms Export Control Act so as to allow the nearly one million Garands and M-1 carbines in Korea to be imported into the U.S.

On Monday, Tester introduced S. 570 which would ban the Department of Justice from tracking or cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles or shotguns. The bill would do this by prohibiting the use of any Federal funds to require the reporting of such information. Rather than just do it by budget amendments annually, this bill puts a permanent fix in place to stop ATF’s over-reaching with their emergency reporting requirements.

To prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and
cataloguing the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

For fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter, no Federal funds may be used to require a person licensed under section 923 of title 18, United States Code, to report information to the Department of Justice regarding the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same person.

This bill has bipartisan support with 11 other Senators as co-sponsors.

Sen Barrasso, John [WY] – 3/14/2011
Sen Baucus, Max [MT] – 3/14/2011
Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 3/14/2011
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 3/14/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 3/14/2011
Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] – 3/14/2011
Sen Ensign, John [NV] – 3/14/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 3/15/2011
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] – 3/14/2011
Sen Paul, Rand [KY] – 3/14/2011
Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 3/15/2011

Tester’s press release had this to say about the bill and ATF’s efforts to obtain emergency approval for their multiple-sales reporting requirement for certain long guns.

Tester’s bipartisan legislation follows his call for the Administration to formally reject a request by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) to use emergency rulemaking authority to track the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns by law-abiding Americans.

ATF requested the new rules to help combat violence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Tester rejected that reasoning, pointing to a need to “enforce the laws already on the books instead of making up new rules.”

“Any discussion dealing with Americans’ basic rights should be debated out in the open—not behind closed doors,” said Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “My bill strengthens gun rights by ensuring that kind of transparency. And I plan to keep standing in the way of anyone trying to curtail our rights under the guise of reducing crime.”

Tester’s measure would prevent ATF from circumventing Congress by collecting records on thousands of Americans’ gun purchases. It would also forbid the Department of Justice from using any federal funds to expand reporting requirements on firearms.