Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, successfully offered an Amendment to fight an attempt by the Obama Administration to use an obscure regulatory process to track the purchases of firearms in four border states. Rehberg's amendment to the FY13 Commerce, Justice and Science House Appropriations Bill would prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from using federal funds to track the purchases of gun owners who buy multiple rifles within a certain time period.
"While President Obama and his allies in Congress continue to undermine the Constitution, and infringe on our gun rights, I'll keep fighting to ensure those rights are upheld," said Rehberg, a member of the Second Amendment Task Force. "The ATF continues the effort to implement new gun control regulations without the approval of Congress, and, tragically, those efforts have included breaking our own country's laws with the "Fast and Furious' program. My amendment tells the Ombaa Administration that Congress will not tolerate this."
The ATF regulation, first proposed in December of 2010 and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on July 11, 2011, requires federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) 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 requirement applies to dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but could be expanded to other states using the same obscure regulatory process used to create the rule. Information gathered from the dealers will be kept in a federal database for two years. While Congress passed legislation in the 1990s to allow ATF to track multiple-sales of handguns, they did not intend to expand this regulation to include long guns.
Rehberg's amendment prevents the government from appropriating funds to implement that regulatory policy. This is the third time Rehberg has fought back efforts by the ATF to increase gun control regulations in this manner by attaching similar language to two major spending bills in 2011.
The amendment was fully supported by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
"The ATF reporting scheme not only violates the privacy of gun owners, but it also exceeds the statutory authority granted to the agency by Congress. In addition, it has had no effect battling Mexican drug cartel violence," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "The NRA strongly supported this vital amendment. On behalf of our members, we would like to thank Congressman Rehberg for his continued support of the Second Amendment and his advocacy of effective solutions to fighting crime and violence."