U.S. Congressmen Dan Boren (OK-02) and Denny Rehberg (MT-AL) successfully amended H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year Continuing Appropriations Act for FY2011, to prevent federal funds from being used for a new and unauthorized regulation currently being proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The Boren-Rehberg amendment prevents the ATF from circumventing the will of Congress by centralizing records of thousands of Americans' rifle purchases without any legal authority.
"This is a big win for the preservation of our Second Amendment Rights," said Rehberg, a member of the Second Amendment Task Force. "Gun control advocates always want to blame guns for crime and violence even though the facts just don't bear that out. Cities with the strongest gun control laws have among the highest violent crime rates. I believe that only Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, should have the power to implement these types of requirements."
Boren added: "The ATF has no legal authority to demand these reports. Congress previously approved these types of reports for the sales of multiple handguns only and has rejected reporting requirements for rifles, or long guns. As recently as last fall, ATF claimed that a reporting requirement for long guns "may require a change to the Gun Control Act', and yet with this new regulation they are trying to circumvent doing just that. That's because they know there is not enough support in Congress to approve this change to the Gun Control Act."
The ATF proposal would require federally licensed firearm dealers to file reports with ATF on all sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles within five consecutive business days if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. The ATF has claimed in public statements that the requirement would apply only to California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The notice published in the Federal Register, however, does not mention a limitation to just these states. The new unauthorized plan would include many of today's most popular rifles, which are owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.
The amendment blocking ATF's regulation from receiving funding was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Rehberg's efforts have already been fruitful, as he led a long list of House members from both parties in pressing the Obama Administration to drop plans to enact the new rule under emergency measures.
The amendment was fully supported by the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.