The National Rifle Association says it will sue the Obama administration over a planned requirement that gun dealers in four border states send reports to the government after multiple sales of some semi-automatic longarms, reports Politico. “They don't have the statutory authority to do it and we'll file a lawsuit as soon as the first letters are sent” demanding the sales information from dealers, said NRA legislative director Chris Cox. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has contended that the rule would help reduce the flow of assault weapons across the border into Mexico.
Administration officials denied that the decision to proceed with the new reporting requirement had anything to do with the controversy over a Congressional investigation into ATF’s “Operation Fast & Furious,” which allegedly lost track of more than 100 weapons suspected of being headed for Mexican drug cartels. Cox accused the administration of making an end-run around Congress, which has approved mandatory reporting of multiple handgun purchases, but did not include long-arms or so-called assault weapons. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said 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,”