U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32) today commended the Department of Justice's decision to issue a new information collection request to Office of Management and Budget that would require border state gun dealers to report the sales of more than "long-guns" to one buyer if the guns are purchased within five business days of one another. This proposal will help to adopt a new regulation that will crackdown on illegal gun trafficking in the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
"At the beginning of this year, I called on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to give Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms the powers they needed to require gun dealers in states along the Mexican border to report the sales of two or more assault weapons to the same buyer within five workdays. This would help stop the illegal trafficking of military-style "long-guns' popular with Mexican drug cartels," said Chu. "Today the Department of Justice has answered this call."
Chu, along with 11 other members of Congress, wrote a letter urging Attorney General Holder to support the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' (ATF's) proposed rule to crackdown on illegal gun trafficking. When the powers were not given to ATF earlier this year, Chu led a coalition of 41 Members of Congress in writing a letter of disappointment to the President. Other groups, including the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, have called on the Administration to take action.
This rule is aimed at addressing the challenges of fighting drug cartels along the Mexican border. Almost half of all guns used in Mexican crimes are long guns, which are illegal in Mexico, and 90% come from the United States. The drug cartels have killed more than 30,000 people in Mexico, including thousands of police and military personnel who are trying to combat them. Last year, the U.S. military announced that if the drug war continues unabated it will cause the Mexican government to collapse and the cartel war could spread over the border into the U.S.
"We cannot win the war on drugs if we keep arming the people we are fighting against, and that is why today's decision by the Department of Justice is so important," said Chu. "ATF will hopefully soon have the authority to crackdown on the illegal trafficking of guns. No longer will we stand idly by, allowing cartels to have easy access to weapons, then the cycle of violence will continue, the drug war will continue unabated, and more lives will be lost on both sides of the border."