The 1986 Firearm Owner’s Protection Act provides that “No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.” How does that square with this . . .
To comply with the ATF long gun registration scheme, some 8500 California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas gun dealers must file a report with the ATF (within 24 hours of any applicable transaction) listing all the particulars of all multiple sales of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.
In other words, Uncle Sam is creating a registry of anyone and everyone in a border state who buys two or more rifles within five days. That seems a pretty clear FOPA violation. Ah, but there’s a “loophole” . . .
Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary’s authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation.
Hair split. We’re not creating a registry. We’re conducting a wide-ranging criminal investigation. If a border state American buys two or more rifles with detachable magazines they’re probably “up to no good.” They lose their presumption of innocence and immediately sit smack dab in the middle in the ATF’s crosshairs.
To hide this legal perversion, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) initially called the registration scheme a 60-day “emergency” regulation. Which made the long gun registry sound like part of tightly-focused, minimally-invasive, time-limited piece of needs-must police work. An exception that proves the rule to stop the flow of American rifles to Mexican drug cartels.
Within a month, the ATF’s registration scheme became a 90-day “temporary” program. Then it was a “one-year trial” program with automatic renewal and possible national expansion. And then, surprise, the Office of Management and Budget torpedoed the plan. They claimed they did so because it didn’t square with President Obama’s public declamation of the federal red tape afflicting the salmon industry. And no, I’m not making this up.
But wait! It’s baaaaack! Any moment now, President Obama will sign an executive order activating the ATF’s federal long gun registry.
The registry will do sweet FA to prevent Mexican drug cartels from replacing their current arsenal with newer firearms. Yes, replacing. The drug thugs have been buying military and law enforcement weaponry sent to the region by the U.S. government for at least a decade. Including grenades, grenade launchers and fully automatic rifles.
So why bother with a long gun registration scheme? Especially now that the ATF and their bosses at the Department of Justice are deeply embroiled in the scandal surrounding their patently illegal anti-gun running gun running operations. There’s only one word for it: chutzpah.
The classic definition of chutzpah: a young man murders his mother and father and pleads with the judge for leniency because he’s an orphan. Notice the complete lack of humility inherent in the story’s protagonist. The unrealistic expectation of affirmation. The radical disconnect from reality.
And there you have it. The Obama administration is insane or, if you prefer, drunk on power and self-righteousness. They honestly believe there’s an Iron River of illegal firearms flowing from Badger Guns to Los Zetas. They genuinely believe they need to monitor ALL gun buyers to catch a few bad apples. And they think they have the right to do so using whatever methods they choose.
This even though the ATF failed—spectacularly—to take advantage of known, monitored indeed enabled Mexican gun smugglers. This despite the fact that the ATF spent tens of millions of your dollars on Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious—without landing a single “big fish” in the [relatively minuscule] gun dealer-based U.S. to Mexico arms trade. Not one.
Abandoning the border region long gun registry would be a tacit admission that both federal anti-gun running programs were illegal, immoral and bureaucratically fattening. This they cannot do. If you pull the rug on the ATF’s past, present and future sting ops, the ATF’s left with . . . nothing. No reason to live.
Just so. The founders wrote the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans’ god-given right to keep and bear arms from government infringement. The ATF is in the firearms rights infringement business. They’re dedicated to strangling our firearm freedom with bureaucratic blight.
There’s only one possible solution to the ATF’s chronic malfeasance and unconstitutional over-reach: highlight and delete. Done.