August 3, 2011
NSSF Suit Challenges ATF Reporting Requirement
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for America’s firearms industry, today filed a lawsuit challenging the legal authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the Gun Control Act to compel 8,500 federally licensed firearms retailers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report the sale of two or more rifles.
NSSF’s lawsuit seeks an injunction to block ATF from implementing the reporting requirement. ATF has sent “demand letters” to firearms retailers in the four states to inform retailers they must begin reporting such sales by August 14.
If ATF can require this record-keeping and reporting requirement of law-abiding retailers in these four states simply by sending a letter demanding the information, then there is no record or report ATF cannot require of any licensee, anywhere in the country, for as long as ATF wants. “This is the proverbial ‘slippery slope,’ and our industry is extremely concerned about it,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
Also today lawyers representing the National Rifle Association filed a separate lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging ATF’s requirement.