For Immediate Release
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.
Brady Campaign Applauds ATF Plan to Collect Reports of Bulk Weapons Sales
WASHINGTON - 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.
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.”
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.
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