Congressman John Carter (R-TX31), a long-time gun owner and avid supporter of the 2nd Amendment, is once again fighting against increased regulations on gun owners.
Rep. Carter, Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today introduced an amendment to the FY2014 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill that would prohibit the use of any funds to require reporting of multiple rifle or shotgun sales to an individual. The amendment was passed by the full House Appropriations Committee and included in the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill Wednesday morning by a voice vote.
Chairman Carter's amendment is in response to a program that was implemented two years ago by the Department of Justice that requires gun dealers in Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico to report all sales of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same buyer to the federal government.
"Buying and owning a gun is the right of each and every American. Frankly the federal government has been stepping all over that right and it's time to rein it in," said Chairman Carter.
Background on the issue
Under the direction of the Obama Administration in 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published a proposal to require dealers in Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico to report multiple-sales of semi-automatic rifles of a caliber greater than .22 (including .223) that use detachable magazines. Under the discriminatory policy, anyone selling two or more "long guns" to a person within five days then triggers the reporting requirement and is placed on a watch list.
In response to this attempt to overstep Americans' 2nd Amendment rights by the Obama Administration, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to H.R. 1, sponsored by then-Congressmen Rehberg and Boren, which blocked this rule. H.R. 1 passed on February 18, 2011 by a vote of 277 - 149. Similar language was also included in H.R. 5326, the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act of 2013.
Chairman Carter's amendment extends these protections. It would prohibit funding for an unintended reporting and registration requirement, proposed by the ATF, on the sale of multiple rifles to the same person in various border-states.
"The government has no business tracking the gun purchases of law-abiding citizens. American's should not be placed on a watch list for simply exercising their constitutional rights," said Chairman Carter. "President Obama should focus his attention on criminals rather than honest citizens exercising their rights."