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NRA, Gun Dealers Sue Over Bulk Gun Sales Rule

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 04, 2011 1:01 PM

The NRA is backing two Arizona gun dealers that have sued over the new bulk gun sales reporting requirement that is being instituted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The NRA is asking for an injunction to stop the rule from being enforced, according to The New York Times.

The ATF rules would require gun dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report certain gun sales. Specifically, the reporting rules would mandate reporting of multiple gun purchases in a short period of time, The New York Times reports.

The rationale behind the new ATF rules is an effort to stem the tide of guns that are flowing down to Mexican drug cartels, according to The New York Times.

The reporting requirement is not the first of its kind. Gun dealers have been required to report certain bulk gun sale purchases for a while as part of a statute that was enacted by Congress, according to The New York Times.

The issue of who has authority to enact these types of regulations is what is at the core of the NRA's argument. They say that only Congress would have the right to enact legislation requiring reporting, and as such the ATF is stepping beyond its powers with the creation of this new reporting rule.

The NRA also says that the new rules will be infringing upon consumer's privacy rights and would take up to much time for ATF employees to be sorting through paperwork.

According to the a ATF spokesman, however, the ATF is not overstepping its bounds because the statute passed by Congress that requires reporting also specifically mandates that dealers need to report to the government any sale information that the attorney general may specify, reports The New York Times.

Who's right with regards to the bulk gun sales reporting requirement? It's unclear, though while the NRA has backed the gun dealers who have sued, an ATF spokesman also said that courts have upheld similar regulations in the past.

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