Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BATFU Imposing Gun Owner Registration by Fiat

Thanks and a hat tip to David Codrea of the War on Guns for pointing me to ATF Announces Demand Letters for Multiple Sales of Long Guns in Border States. This is a particularly egregious violation of law because it is not authorized by Congress for rifles, as it is for handguns. (As an aside, the Constitutionality of that law is disputed by rights advocates as well, but it has been passed by Congress, signed by the President, and is the law of the land.)  It also sets up a registry of gun owners, something specifically disallowed by Congress. At the moment, it is only temporary, and only within the Border States, but what can be done temporarily can be done permanently. And since when are people living in Border States not entitled to equal protection of (and from) the law?

I hate to ask you to do this so close to Christmas, but take the time to go over to the GOA website and send a letter to your Congressman and your Senators. GOA makes it easy with a pre-written letter. Be polite when you edit the letter.

You could also write to Barbera.Terrell@atf.gov and register your displeasure. Again, be polite. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Ms. Terrell,

Pursuant to your request for comments in the Federal Register dated 17 December 2010, I am writing to provide comments on your proposal to require thousands of dealers to report multiple rifle sales to the BATFE. The Federal Register helpfully lists topics on which you wish comments. I will not comment on those, but instead, get to the heart of the matter.

Frankly, I am vehemently opposed to what I can only view as a power grab by the BATFE. You do not have the authority to require dealers to report multiple rifle sales. The requirement to report multiple handgun sales was imposed by Congress in 18 USC § 923(g)(3)(A). If Congress had wished to require reporting of multiple rifle sales as well, that requirement would also be a matter of federal law. The fact that it is not stands is proof that Congress does not wish to have them reported.

Your motive for making the proposal are not stated, but one can speculate that you desire to be better able to trace these weapons, which some have demonized as "assault weapons." Having this information creates a de facto registration system, to which I must stand firmly opposed. How many guns a law abiding person has, of what type and where they are located is not, put bluntly, any of the Government's business. Furthermore, I doubt that this proposal serves any legitimate purpose, but if you think it does, go before Congress and request a change in the law. Please remember that the "The ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend a law."


Or, you can use the excellently worded letter at Armed and Safe here.

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