Obama's Dept. of Justice seeks to distract from 'Fast & Furious' scandal with new reporting rules; NRA vows lawsuit
The Associated Press is reporting that Obama administration's Department of Justice announced Monday that all gun shops in four Southwest border states will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles. DoJ officials claimed the move is an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Mexico - an issue manufactured (literally!) by the Obama administration in hopes it would lead the American people to press for more gun control.
From the article:
The new policy comes amid criticism of a flawed federal probe aimed at dismantling large-scale arms trafficking networks along the Arizona border with Mexico.
In the probe, called Operation Fast and Furious, several agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they were inexplicably ordered by superiors to stop tracking some small-time "straw" buyers who purchased large numbers of weapons apparently destined for drug cartels.
Twenty low-level gun buyers have been charged in the operation. In December, two assault rifles that one of the now-indicted small-time buyers under scrutiny in Fast and Furious had purchased from a gun shop in Glendale, Ariz., turned up at the scene of a shootout that killed Brian Terry, an agent of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In recent congressional testimony, ATF agent John Dodson estimated that 1,800 guns in Fast and Furious were unaccounted for and that about two-thirds are probably in Mexico.
Under the new policy, federal firearms licensees in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico must report purchases of two or more of some types of rifles by the same person in a five-day span. The requirement applies to purchases of semi-automatic rifles that have detachable magazines and a caliber of greater than .22.
...One of the critics of Operation Fast and Furious called the new policy "the height of hypocrisy." The Obama administration is restricting the gun rights of border state citizens, "when the administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
"Limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem," Smith said.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has issued a strong response to the DoJ announcement:
$40 billion transnational criminal enterprises don't fill out paperwork and are not deterred by paperwork violations. This is a blatant effort by the Obama administration and ATF to divert focus of Congress and the general public from their gross incompetence in the Fast and Furious scandal. This scheme will unjustly burden law-abiding retailers in border states. It will not affect drug cartels and and it won't prevent violence along our borders. ATF and the Administration lacks the statutory authority to do this and the NRA will file suit as soon as ATF sends the first demand letters.
-Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA