The Obama administration is working on new gun control regulations that would target stolen and missing weapons.
Police have a hard time tracking firearms that disappear from gun shops, which “just feeds the sort of already large and existing secondary market on guns,” said Sam Hoover, a staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
It is unclear precisely what the draft regulations, drawn up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and under review at the White House’s regulations office, would do.
The ATF would not comment on the draft rule, since it has not yet been released to the public, but a description provided by the White House asserts that it would target cases where guns go missing “in transit.”
Currently, gun dealers with a federal license are required to tell federal agents after they discover a firearm has gone missing, but they aren’t required to do routine checks.
While thefts from federally licensed dealers are relatively rare and thefts in transit are all but non-existent (and not the responsibility of the dealers, in any event), the ATF and the White House hopes to increase the cost of doing business by forcing FFLs to audit their entire inventory on a “routine” basis, in addition to already strenuous bookkeeping that tracks each and every firearm that enters or leaves a gun store by tracking each firearm’s serial number.
These unnecessary full audits, on top of the current continuous inventory management procedures are extremely time and labor intensive, and will substantially drive up the costs. It will also give ATF inspectors an extra chance to manufacture “gotcha” charges, victimless crimes where gun dealers could face fines, closure, and potentially even jail time for not having paperwork “just so.”
This seems designed to force dealers who already operate on thin margins to either go out of business, or inflate costs to account for the extra labor, making firearms even more expensive for law abiding citizens.
If this is indeed what they are planning, then it accounts to yet anther assault on the Second Amendment by a virulently anti-gun Obama Administration.