Not one to share a Christmas card with President Obama, the National Rifle Association is even less likely to send one now that the president has invoked an executive order.
The order - which has the weight of law under certain circumstances - orders all gun shop owners in states edging Mexico to supply the government with the names of people who buy two or more rifles at one time.
Obma's reasoning is reduce the alleged illegal traffic of firearms into troubled Mexico, plagued by drug cartels.
However, the NRA calls the move illegal with there being an act of Congress. In effect, the NRA says, what Obama has done is a backdoor effort at gun control, and a not very effective one at that.
Notes the NRA:
Last fall, the reporting procedure was proposed as an “emergency" measure by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The procedure specifically calls for all of the firearm retailers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and that are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days. For example, a dealer would have to tell the government every time a deer hunter in Sacramento or Amarillo finds a good deal on a pair of semi-auto .30-06s like the popular Remington 7400.
The BATFE has no legal authority to demand these reports, and the flood of new paperwork (BATFE estimates 18,000 reports per year) will waste scarce law enforcement resources that should be spent on legitimate investigations.
As anyone who watches the news is aware, the BATFE has recently come under intense scrutiny due to its involvement in, and handling of, the ill-conceived and ill-fated “Fast and Furious” operation. "Fast and Furious" was a part of the five-year-old "Project Gunrunner" program and encouraged Arizona gun stores to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers, despite objections from dealers and BATFE field agents alike.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called the new policy "the height of hypocrisy," and said the Obama administration is restricting the gun rights of border state citizens "when the administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico.”
Smith went on to say, “Limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem."
Commenting on the DOJ announcement, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox said, “$40 billion transnational criminal enterprises don't fill out paperwork and are not deterred by paperwork violations. This is a blatant effort by the Obama administration and ATF to divert the focus of Congress and the general public from their gross incompetence in the 'Fast and Furious' scandal. This scheme will unjustly burden law abiding retailers in border states. It will not affect drug cartels and it won't prevent violence along our borders. The BATFE and the Administration lack the statutory authority to do this and the NRA will file suit as soon as BATFE sends the first demand letters.”
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn