Washington DC: The Department of Justice today released a statement by Deputy Attorney General James Cole “Regarding Information Requests for Multiple Sales of Semi-Automatic Rifles with Detachable Magazines”:
“The international expansion and increased violence of transnational criminal networks pose a significant threat to the United States. Federal, state and foreign law enforcement agencies have determined that certain types of semi-automatic rifles – greater than .22 caliber and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine – are highly sought after by dangerous drug trafficking organizations and frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest Border. This new reporting measure — tailored to focus only on multiple sales of these types of rifles to the same person within a five-day period — will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations. These targeted information requests will occur in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to help confront the problem of illegal gun trafficking into Mexico and along the Southwest Border.”
“Request” does not mean “voluntary” :
SOME BACKGROUND FROM DOJ: To address the problem of illegal gun trafficking into Mexico, ATF will send an information request to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in the four Southwest Border states: Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The point of this request is to provide a targeted approach to address the problem of illegal gun trafficking through sales to “straw purchasers,” people who claim to be the true buyers of firearms but in reality are purchasing firearms on behalf of others.
ATF will tailor the information request to address the specific threat. It applies only to firearms dealers in the four border states, and its prospective reporting requirements apply only if a firearms dealer sells within five business days to a single individual two or more long guns having all of the following characteristics:
- Semi-automatic action;
- A caliber greater than .22, including .223 caliber firearms;
- and The ability to accept a detachable magazine.
The issuance of ATF’s information request follows two periods of public notice and comment, as required by law. On December 17, 2010, ATF published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments on the information request for 60 days. After reviewing the comments submitted in response to this notice, ATF published a second notice in the Federal Register on April 29, 2011, requesting public comments for 30 days. OMB reviewed the last set of public comments before approving the information collection request.
Gun Rights Examiner has reported several times on this in both comment periods, including:
- ATF ‘emergency’ long gun reporting an agenda-driven power grab
- ‘Project Gunwalker’ protest can help kill ATF’s long gun reporting proposal
- Will gun owner apathy enable ATF’s ‘emergency’ long gun registration scheme?
Results for comments, including tallies and whether the feared gun owner apathy contributed to DoJ’s confidence in proceeding with this measure are unclear at this time. What is known is the Obama administration made it known they were working on “under the radar gun control” months back, and that there would be an “unveiling” in the “near future.”
It appears the first veil has dropped and a strategy of counterpunching/”best defense is a strong offense” is being adopted-along with continued stonewalling and interference being run by the Elijah Cummings/media alliance. And there is no mention of multiple long guns sales to Project Gunwalker-directed straw purchasers, and what effect exposing the complete truth on that operation would have on trafficking and violent crime.
UPDATE: Dave Workman reports on this development and includes responses from Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
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