Wielding high-powered semiautomatic weapons that have been purchased legally in the United States, drug cartels have caused an epidemic of violence in Mexico. In an effort to reduce the flow of weapons across the border, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) adopted a rule requiring federally licensed firearms dealers in the four U.S. states bordering Mexico to report sales of more than one semiautomatic rifle to the same person during five consecutive business days. Because purchasing multiple firearms is a key indicator of illegal trafficking, reporting can help investigators to identify the sources of guns that are being trafficked into Mexico. Nonetheless, firearms dealers filed suit in the District of Columbia, arguing that ATF had overstepped its authority under federal law in The National Shooting Sports Foundation v. Jones ATF.
HOW SAFETY WINS
A district court judge ruled for ATF, upholding its authority to require the reporting of multiple rifle sales. With this important decision, ATF will be better equipped to combat the funneling of guns to Mexican cartels.