ATF to Require Multiple Sales Reports for Long Guns

ATF to Require Multiple Sales Reports for Long Guns

pile of ar15 rifles
ATF to Require Multiple Sales Reports for Sporting Rifles
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn –-( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is moving to require federally licensed firearms retailers to report multiple sales of modern sporting rifles beginning January 5, 2011.

Specifically, the ATF requirement calls for firearms retailers to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

The Washington Post suggests that the reporting mandate would be limited to retailers along the Southwest border; however, the Federal Register Notice does not limit the geographic scope of the reporting requirement.

This ATF “emergency” mandate was originally pushed by the anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition, headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, more than a year and a half ago. And the Post reports that the Department of Justice has “languished” over this plan for several months. Given this timetable, it’s hard to see exactly where the “emergency” is.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation opposes this reporting requirement because it further burdens America’s law-abiding firearms retailers with yet another onerous regulation that will do nothing to curb crime. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement, thereby driving traffickers further underground. This is not unlike how criminals maneuvered around one-gun-a-month laws in states like New Jersey or Virginia – which is still considered an “exporting source state” by anti-gun organizations like the MAIG despite its restrictions on the number of firearms law-abiding residents may purchase.

Multiple sales reporting for long guns is an ill-considered mandate and one that ATF does not have the legal authority to unilaterally impose. In fact, ATF has not specified under what legal authority it presumes to act. The decision as to whether ATF can move forward with this agenda-driven mandate will be left to Cass Sunstein who heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). This is the same Cass Sunstein who in a 2007 speech at Harvard University said, “We ought to ban hunting, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”

NSSF will be submitting comments in opposition to this registration scheme and is encouraging all firearms retailers, sportsmen and enthusiasts to do the same.

Please voice your concern by doing the following:

  1. Call the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulation Affairs, Department of Justice, Desk Officer at (202) 395-6466.
  2. E-mail Barbara A. Terrell, ATF, Firearms Industry Programs Branch at [email protected]
  3. Call your Senators and Representative: United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Points to make:

  1. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
  2. Long guns are rarely used in crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
  3. Imposing multiple sales-reporting requirements for long guns would further add to the already extensive paperwork and record-keeping requirements burdening America’s retailers – where a single mistake could cost them their license and even land them in jail.
  4. Last year, ATF inspected 2,000 retailers in border states and only two licenses were revoked (0.1%). These revocations were for reasons unknown and could have had nothing to do with illicit trafficking of guns; furthermore, no dealers were charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
  5. According to ATF, the average age of a firearm recovered in the United States is 11 years old. In Mexico it’s more than 14 years old. This demonstrates that criminals are not using new guns bought from retailers in the states.
  6. Congress, when it enacted multiple sales reporting for handguns, could have required multiple sales of long guns – it specifically chose not to.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

First, it was six months. Now it’s a “pilot project for a period of one year”. What’s next? Hmmmm – pilot project…..? So, it’s “to identify criminal firearms traffickers”, right? How does reporting the sale of a WWII German K-43 rifle and a WWII M1 Carbine to a collector “identify criminal firearms traffickers”? Or two Remington Model 742 hunting rifles? This effort is a load of horse manure….. Designed to expand ATF’s firearm registration files and has little to do with “firearms traffickers”. ATF claims it’s AK47 and AR15 rifles that are the “problem”. So why didn’t they try to… Read more »

Wendy Weinbaum

As a Jewess in the US, I can only say that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by cheap talk. That is why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!! America wasn't won with a registered gun!


Keep in mind that 22 short, long and long rifle with their heel type bullet actually measure 0.224" while the projectile in centerfire cartridges and the rimfire magnum measure .223.

The people writing the regulations either don't have the technical knowledge to write them, or they want to include the rimfires too.


Is a .223 "larger" than a .22? What about .22 magnum? Why does ATF want to know about sales of 2 or more 100 year old 1907 Winchester Rifles? Or Model 8 Remington rifles? WWII M1 Carbines? FN 49 rifles? WWII G43 rifles? Model 1903 Mannlicher Carbines? Model 1907 Dreyse .32 ACP Carbines? 1900 Luger Carbines?

This appears to be an ATF "fishing expedition" just to see how many more registration records they can add to registration records already stored at the ATF National Tracing Center….

For more information, see: