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Unbelievable. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have re-animated their moribund plan to requires thousands of gun dealers near the Mexican border to register long gun sales. This even as Congressional investigators are busy delving into the ATF’s disgraced “plan” to enable the transfer of rifles from Bob’s Gun Store (or similar) to the Zeta drug cartel (or similar). A policy which helped arm drug thugs who murdered not one but two U.S. federal law enforcement agents—and an unknown number of Mexican civilians. The long gun registry slipped into limbo when the Office of Management and Budget said “Hey, you can’t do that ’cause, ’cause, President Obama said that the salmon industry has too much federal regulation.” No really. But if it’s lies you’re looking for, let’s check in with Reuters . . .

The proposal will be published in the government’s Federal Register on Friday seeking comments for 30 days, according to a copy obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

It was first published in December and had a 60-day comment period that garnered almost 13,000 responses. About 30 percent opposed the reporting requirement and 70 percent favored it, ATF said.

I got one thing to say about that: SHOW ME THE COMMENTS! We’re supposed to trust gun smugglers that 9100 Americans took the time to write Uncle Sam to suport the idea of more government regulation of guns?

Either the gun control advocacy groups are extremely well-organized, gun rights groups are lazy bastards, both or neither; and the ATF is lying. Suffice it to say, the Agency has something of a history in that regard. A recent history. Current?

And what exactly will these new regs require? Exactly which gun dealers will have to bear the burden of excessive paperwork?

Approximately 8,500 gun dealers would be subject to the reporting requirements if adopted. About 36,000 reports of multiple hand gun sales were made from the four border states in fiscal 2010, according to the proposal.

ATF estimates there will be about 18,000 reports of multiple rifle sales from California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Vague much? And get this . . .

The second round of comment is typical for new regulations, according to ATF, and no substantive changes were made. After reviewing the new comments submitted, the proposal could be implemented or altered.

So they can change it? TTAG has warned our Armed Intelligentsia before: this idea has morphed from an “emergency measure” to a “pilot program.” And if you don’t think that registration is the first step to confiscation, well, you really haven’t been paying attention. If not, with all due respect, now would be a good time to start.

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  1. Bureaucracies never shrink or move away from ideas they hold dear. They only metastasize. They look for different opportunities to accomplish the same goal.

    Knocked down on the long gun registry plan? No problem. We’ll just announce it when most of the gun world’s attention is otherwise directed in Pittsburgh.

    As if no one would notice. Silly regulators.

  2. Bear in mind that comments are essentially meaningless – it’s not like commenters are actually voting on the proposed rules, after all. Comments are required, all right, but unless I’m sorely mistaken they have no binding effect on the agency proposing the rule change. But based on my experience, people who feel they’ve “had their say” are a lot happier, when unhappy, than those who are told to SD&STFU.

    And what overlord doesn’t appreciate happy (or not completely unhappy) serfs?

  3. You are fundamentally wrong on public comments.

    Flash back to January, 2011, week one as I recall. That’s when OMB PUNKED atf by denying them their “emergency” designation. At that point, we have a 200 to 1 advantage in public comments give or take a few. I know because we FOIAd the public comments on this issue. In fact, Gunleaders posted the names of those who responded on our forum. The whole FOIA was impossibly long to itemize but our estimates were that there were approximately 9000 – 9500 comments in favor, and 2000-2500 opposing.

    Remember Melson wanted this with a 2.5 week turnaround. This was dropped into the federal register on 12/17/2010, and the implementation was requested by 01/5/2011. This coincided with 2 National holidays, the Congressional recess and implementation one day after the new Congress was seated.

    We won that engagement.
    Public comments also won the day against the National Park Service and FWS when the 1st regulation was proposed allowing weapons on their properties. The first regulation contained the “analogous state lands” language which they removed and attributed to public comments. The regulation ultimately passed thanks to public comments which we also won. Ultimately the Coburn amendment became necessary but the point is that public comments mean everything to these regulatory efforts.

    They only mean nothing to people too lazy to get involved ( not directing this at any of you personally ).

    Please see here for suggested comments.


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