ATF To Require Dealers To Report Bulk Semiautomatic Rifle Sales

Monday, December 20, 2010
By Paul Martin

Ryan J. Reilly
TPM
Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Friday requested emergency permission to require that gun dealers report to them bulk sales of the high-powered semiautomatic rifles favored by drug cartels — all part of the Administration’s effort to combat the flow of guns to Mexico.

It is a plan that had languished for months at the Justice Department because of concerns over what the National Rifle Association (NRA) might think. The Washington Post reports now that it was held up by the White House in the spring — around the same time that President Barack Obama promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon he’d work to prevent gunrunning south of the border.

The effort, sources told the newspaper, was shelved by Rahm Emanuel, then-White House chief of staff. The plan “was perceived as too volatile just before midterm elections,” the Post reported. But the plan made it into the Federal Register last week after ATF Deputy Director Kenneth Melson asked DOJ to try again.

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