The Obama administration is ordering gun dealers in southwestern border states to report the sale of multiple semiautomatic weapons to federal authorities, in a bid to stem the flow of weapons to Mexican drug gangs. The new regulation will require the roughly 8,500 dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives whenever someone buys two or more rifles within a five-day span, the Washington Post reports.
The NRA has promised to take the administration to court over the rule. “ATF and the administration lack the statutory authority to do this,” the group’s top lobbyist tells the Post. The rule is actually an extension of a long-standing one requiring all dealers to report the sale of two handguns in a five-day period. The ATF has been trying to get it approved for more than a year, but Rahm Emanuel shelved it ahead of the 2010 midterms.