Court Backs Obama Border Gun Rule

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 12:02 PM

By Lisa Barron

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A second federal appeals court has unanimously upheld an Obama administration requirement that gun dealers in four Southwestern border states report to the federal government when customers buy multiple high-powered rifles.

Thursday's ruling by the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit endorsed a lower appeals court's dismissal of a gun dealer's challenge to the requirement, which went into effect in 2011 and was billed by the government as an attempt to stem the flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels, Politico reported.

Under the policy, gun dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas  — the states that share a border with Mexico — have to give information to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on gun purchasers who buy two or more weapons a week of semi-automatic long guns that have a caliber greater than .22 and a detachable magazine.

The court ruling rejected arguments that the ATF had overreached its authority, violated Congressional prohibitions against a national gun registry, and imposed an unreasonable burden on gun dealers.

The decision backed a ruling issued in May by a D.C. Circuit panel that upheld the ATF requirement against a challenge by the Shooting Sports Foundation and two Arizona gun sellers.

The latest ruling was authored by Judge Patrick Higginbotham, who was appointed to the appeals court by President Ronald Reagan, and joined by Judges Carolyn King and Edith Clement, appointed by President Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush, respectively.

In response to the court's decision, National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said, "We disagree with the Court's decision and will be considering all of our options, legal and legislative, moving forward," Politico reported.

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