According to the report and an article in the New York Times, “American weapons — often bought by “straw buyers” who have a right to buy them for themselves — have been flooding across the Southwest border for years, fueling drug violence in Mexico.”
Reacting to the findings, the Obama administration issued new regulations requiring gun merchants along the U.S.-Mexican border to report bulk sales of certain semiautomatic rifles.
The rule, designed to make it harder for Mexican drug cartels to obtain and smuggle military-style weapons across the border, requires licensed arms dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to report when someone purchases more than one assault weapon within a period of five days. The regulations cover all semiautomatic rifles using detachable magazines and ammunition larger than .22 caliber.
The National Rifle Association, who apparently sees the new rules as unfair, has filed a lawsuit against the administration.
“N.R.A. has always viewed this as a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to pursue their gun control agenda through back-door rule-making, and the N.R.A. will fight them every step of the way,” said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s Executive Vice President.
The NRA is asking a Federal District Court judge for the District of Columbia to issue an injunction against the rule by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — effectively killing it.
According to an article in the New York Times,
The dispute over the regulation comes at a time when the firearms bureau’s efforts to investigate straw purchasing and smuggling across the border have come under sharp Congressional scrutiny related to Operation Fast and Furious, an effort by the agency’s Phoenix division to uncover a large network of cartel-linked gunrunners.
In that operation, federal agents monitored straw buyers who bought about 2,000 guns, but did not intervene to arrest them or seize the weapons because they were trying to identify higher-ups in the network. But the bureau then lost track of many of the guns, some of which were smuggled into Mexico and two of which later turned up at the scene of a shootout in Arizona where an American Border Patrol agent was killed.
But the NRA is arguing that complying with the rule would be bad for business. The regulations, the NRA says, would be costly and might deter customers from purchasing weapons because of a potential loss of privacy.