Here’s some news for all the NRA members convinced that ATF’s rifle reporting requirement in four border states is a diabolical plot by the Obama administration to crack down on the Second Amendment. ATF didn’t consult the White House before they published an emergency request for a proposed rule requiring gun dealers in four border states to report bulk sales of semi-automatic weapons in the Federal Register.
Back in mid-December, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives published the request for the emergency rule applying to four border states as a way of cracking down on gun trafficking. As the White House’s Office of Management and Budget considered the emergency rule, OMB’s Chad A. Lallemand sent an email to several Justice Department and ATF officials on Dec. 27, 2010 asking them to “Please also note that OMB should be consulted prior to issuing emergency notifications.”
The email was including in a batch of documents about the reporting requirements that TPM obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request.
ATF soon revised the language of their proposal based on OMB’s recommendations, according to the batch of emails. The Obama administration didn’t think there was a need to approve the rule on an emergency basis by the Jan. 5 deadline and pushed back the implementation of the rule until July. Dealers in those four states are now required to tell ATF when they sell more than one semiautomatic rifle to an individual within a five-day period.
It also appears that OMB didn’t tell at least some ATF officials that they were delaying the emergency request until TPM reported on the matter. One of the emails includes a story from Tickle The Wire that cited TPM’s story about the White House delaying the rule.
The NRA sued the government on behalf of gun dealers effected by the rule, and that case is currently in federal court.