Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Gun Rights Groups Sue Feds Over Rifle Rule Aimed At Cartels

Photo by Keary O.
A new federal rule requires gun shops to report purchases of two or more of some semiautomatic rifles within five days.

Two major gun rights groups filed lawsuits against the United States yesterday to stop a new federal firearms reporting requirement. The new rules affect 8,500 retailers in the four border states.

The lawsuits were not unexpected against the controversial rules. The Obama Administration announced the rulings two weeks ago.

They require gun shops in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report the purchase of two or more of certain semiautomatic rifles within five days. The rifles have to be greater than a .22 caliber and have a detachable magazine.  The idea is to crack down on the straw purchasers arming Mexico’s drug cartels with U.S. weapons.

Both lawsuits were filed Wednesday. The National Rifle Association is one of the plaintiffs.
Rachel Parsons is with the NRA.  

“The administration has no statutory authority to circumvent the will of the people or Congress to make this order,” Parsons said.

Larry Keane is representing the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That’s a trade group that represents gun makers and retailers. He says the reporting requirement targets legitimate gun buyers and opens them to federal scrutiny.

“So that ATF can gather information for intelligence purposes to then potentially see if they might open up an investigation,” Keane said.

The new reporting requirements begin August 14. The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for an interview.