White House budget officials have rejected an emergency request by federal firearms investigators for a rule meant to help catch gunrunners to Mexico, the Washington Post reports. The decision delays for at least two months a proposed requirement that dealers along the Mexican border report anyone who buys two or more assault weapons in five days. The White House said the delay will give the public more time – until Feb. 14 – to comment on the proposal.
It was the the second time that the rule, which is strongly opposed by the gun industry and the National Rifle Association, has been put on hold by the Obama administration. It was shelved by former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last year and was not reconsidered until after the midterm congressional elections. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had hoped the reporting requirement would help them track potential gunrunners like accused trafficker Sean Christopher Steward, 28, of Phoenix, who purchased more than 100 AK-47s in a single month.