Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kurt Hoffman: Good Example of Slippery Slope

National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea reported last evening that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been stealthily preparing to expand its requirement for gun dealers to report multiple long gun nationwide. The existing requirement to report sales within five days to the same buyer of two or more semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed rifles of greater than .22 caliber has to date been limited to the four southwest border states of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

The existing requirement, readers my remember, is not a matter of law, passed by Congress. The reporting requirement was imposed by raw executive fiat. A similar requirement for multiple handgun purchases, in contrast, is mandated by federal law. A blatantly unconstitutional law, to be sure, but at least that requirement has the thin veneer of legitimacy of having received the blessing of Congress.

Oddly, the BATFE is well aware of the fact that it is not empowered to formulate the laws it enforces, or at least that's what the agency tells children, on the BATFE's "kids' page" (kids have to learn about tyranny sometime, one supposes):
ATF cannot enact a law, nor can it amend the law.
The other interesting aspect of this is that by expanding the reporting requirement nationwide, the BATFE seems to have decided it no longer needs one of the major arguments that supposedly justified the requirement in the first place--that by virtue of being limited to just those four states, the reporting requirement is not overly onerous. As the BATFE itself stated (in a document no longer on the Bureau's website, and only available via the "Wayback Machine"):

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