During Senate consideration of the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) plans to offer an amendment that would prohibit use of funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting plan proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The Heller amendment would prevent ATF from circumventing the will of Congress by centralizing records of thousands of Americans’ firearm purchases, without any legal authority. Identical language passed the U.S. House of Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan majority on Feb. 18 by a vote of 277 to 149.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is encouraging all sportsmen, gun owners and firearms enthusiasts to contact both of their U.S. senators and urge them to support the Heller amendment.
ATF is requiring the 8,500 federally licensed firearms retailers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple sales of modern sporting rifles. Specifically, the ATF requirement calls for firearm retailers to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more semi-automatic rifles that are larger than .22 caliber, capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.
ATF has no legal authority to demand these reports. Furthermore, these reporting requirements actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers simply go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This makes it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
Please take a few minutes to contact your U.S. Senators today 202-224-3121 and urge them to support the Heller amendment.