We have a government that purposefully “loses” 2500 guns in Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious, but is targeting American business owners for yet another round of proposed gun control legislation. Targeting stolen and missing weapons is the name of the game for the Obama administration’s latest attack on our Second Amendment.
You can listen to my discussion with Austin Hill on this topic by clicking “Idaho Attorney and Gun Rights Expert Alex Kincaid says there is a ‘Point of Contention’ Between the State and Federal Governments.”
Businesses in the gun industry (dealers and manufacturers holding a FFL – Federal Firearms License) are already saddled with so many rules and regulations they need to consult a lawyer to ensure they do not wind up with the dreaded ROV (report of violations) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. But apparently, having so many rules and regulations that the average person can’t keep up with the requirements isn’t enough. According to President Obama, we need more laws to prevent crime. Because, as we know, making something illegal will keep the criminals from engaging in their bad behavior.
Exactly what the new regulation will require is not yet known. The White House office is currently reviewing the rule, and has 90 days to do so, before releasing it to the public. All we know at this time is that it will target firearms which are lost or stolen “in transit”. This could possibly mean that BATFE will require FFLs to conduct periodic checks of their inventory and report any missing firearms. Currently FFLs are not required to conduct periodic inventory checks to search specifically for missing merchandise (most business owners keep up on their inventory without a rule requiring them to do so because they simply want to stay in business), but they must report any known missing firearms within 48 hours of discovering the loss to both law enforcement and BATFE. According to the most recent “Lost and Stolen Firearms Report” released by BATFE in June of 2013, for the calendar year 2012, only 9% of the total lost and stolen firearms nationwide were the result of thefts and losses from FFLs.
Chelsea Parsons, Associate Director of Crime and Firearms Policy at the Center for American Progress stated the problem with the current reporting rule is that “They can discover a gun missing today and have no idea when it went missing, which really makes that information useless to law enforcement.”
An appropriations rider has prevented BATFE from passing any “periodic check” rule on FFLs since 2004.
FFLs who are the victims of theft should not have to be burdened with yet another rule requiring them to conduct periodic checks for missing merchandise. Such a requirement would unnecessarily burden crime victims and small business owners, and provide yet another avenue for BATFE to take away a business owner’s license.