The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF, has a long history of excess and overreaching … and they’re at it again.
Using exaggerated reports of gun smuggling from the U.S. into Mexico as their justification, the agency has filed for an emergency regulation requiring gun dealers to keep track of their customers and file special reports to ATF whenever a customer purchases more than one semi-automatic rifle within any 5-day period. Such special reporting is already required for multiple sales of handguns and has proven to be thoroughly useless as a law enforcement tool.
ATF’s requested regulation – which is unconstitutional, violates a statutory prohibition against firearms registration schemes and was obviously filed as an “emergency” simply as a means of bypassing Congress – would be “temporary,” meaning that it would have to be renewed in four or five months, and is said to only apply to gun dealers in states bordering Mexico, though the regulation, as submitted, seems to be missing that specific limitation.
At this point the proposed regulation is awaiting approval from the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Political observers will recall that OIRA is headed by President Obama’s old friend Cass Sunstein, who famously advocated for the abolition of all hunting and for the extension of legal rights – including the right to have a court-appointed attorney – to animals.
While Mr. Sunstein is an attorney and college professor specializing, in part, in constitutional law, his record shows that his Constitution does not include the Second Amendment. It is expected that Sunstein’s office will approve ATF’s Emergency Regulation by the first week of January unless there is immediate and vehement objection from members of Congress and the public.