Multi-Rifle Reporting Requirement

John Richardson has the details about the Obama Administration’s move to require multiple rifle sales to be reported along the southwest border. The move is patently illegal, and I suspect will be successfully challenged. The relevant section of US Code is Title 18, Section 923:

(3) (A) Each licensee shall prepare a report of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensee sells or otherwise disposes of, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, two or more pistols, or revolvers, or any combination of pistols and revolvers totalling two or more, to an unlicensed person. The report shall be prepared on a form specified by the Attorney General and forwarded to the office specified thereon and to the department of State police or State law enforcement agency of the State or local law enforcement agency of the local jurisdiction in which the sale or other disposition took place, not later than the close of business on the day that the multiple saleor other disposition occurs.

You will not that a long gun is not a pistol or revolver, by terms of the Gun Control Act. Combine with:

(g)(1)(A) Each licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, and licensed dealer shall maintain such records of importation, production, shipment, receipt, sale, or other disposition of firearms at his place of business for such period, and in such form, as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe. Such importers, manufacturers, and dealers shall not be required to submit to the Attorney General reports and information with respect to such records and the contents thereof, except as expressly required by this section.

Emphasis mine. I would say the Obama Administration is skating on thin ice, but in this case the Administration is apparently trying to skate on liquid water. There is just no possible interpretation of the Gun Control Act, with modifications from FOPA, that this move is legal.

16 thoughts on “Multi-Rifle Reporting Requirement”

  1. Whatever happened with all the comments. What was the final count anyway? I mean we were catching up to MAIG’s spamming. What did they do, drop another 200,000 pro comments?

  2. Is that seriously the best they can do? I was expecting much worse.

    Still a stupid law.

  3. “Bring on the gun control attempts! It guarantees Democrat loss in 2012”

    What happened in 1996? Some dolts got the idea to form another party and split the vote.

  4. I would suggest reading the “Legal Side” column in the April 2011 Small Arms Review. Mark Barnes covers ATF’s authority to issue demand letters to FFLs to send them information specified in the letter (authorized at 923(g)(5)(A)), which in this case would be for every FFL in a border state to send in the specified info; the upshot being that the authority to issue demand letters has been challenged in court several times and upheld each time, although those were relatively narrowly tailored uses and the courts did not make any determination of the limits of the authority. ATF is trying to grab for the brass ring on this one.

    If effected, the legal challenge will come down to whether this is within the scope of ATF’s authority to issue demand letters. Should be interesting, I think the federal courts are probably enough in the bag to let them get away with it.

  5. Wow. Reporting multiple rifle purchases along the border. What could they be thinking?! Tyranny!

  6. The harder he tries to push gun control, the brighter the flashlight he’s going to shine on Gunwalker.

    I don’t think he has the political capital nor the support, so yeah, bring it on!

  7. “…but in this case the Administration is apparently trying to skate on liquid water.”

    Well, if Jesus supposedly did it, why can’t Obama?

  8. Marvin,

    Rule of Law means the government doesn’t get to do things beyond their granted authority, regardless of how “minor” they are.

    And given that the stores already were reporting the multiple sales, and ATF ordered them to complete the transactions, the Administration has no rational basis to claim this is necessary.

  9. I truly suspect this rule/policy to be struck down pretty quickly … but in the mean time, it creates quite a distraction. A distraction which was probably the primary motivation for implementing this rule.

    The creators of F&F knew well that this sort of thing was coming, and hence the rule request. Call me a conspiracist, but these goings-on all fit nicely into a plan to bring gun control one way or the other.

  10. Just more evidence that “Fast and Furious” has been a plot from the beginning to create a perception of lawlessness among gun owners and AFLs in the southwest. Even with the operation blowing up in their face, the Obama administration is apparently still counting on a supine media and ignorant public to simply fret about “gun violence” escalating rather than looking at the details behind the government’s efforts to create that false impression. Apparently no good crisis should go to waste, and no good scandal either, even if it was 100% your fault.

    I hope to God Issa & Grassley get the facts out on this. By all appearances, Holder belongs in jail, and Nepolitano most likely as well. Instead, we get repeated conflation of illegal government activity with vague public unease about “gun crime” which the administration is looking to use to railroad us again.

  11. Of course, it’s a trivial affair to convert a semiauto, detachable magazine rifle into a fixed magazine rifle (we do it by the tens of thousands through the infamous “bullet button” here in my beloved Clownifornia), which wouldn’t trigger the reporting requirement. Customer conversion back to detachable mag status would take about 5 minutes, tops. And would be perfectly legal, especially since in the recent past BATFE has recognized bullet buttons as sufficient to convert a rifle to fixed magazine status (Calguns has the emails from ATF).

    Typically, the antis are talking about implementing a totally useless reporting requirement.

  12. Ill tempered … your point is clear … the regulation wouldn’t produce much in the way of results (for them).

    But on the other hand, most of us would rather there be no requirement, rather than come up with creative ways to live with the requirement.

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