07.12.11

Schiff Statement Regarding Information Requests for Multiple Sales of Semi-Automatic Rifles with Detachable Magazines

Washington, DC – Yesterday, after the Department of Justice announced the approval of a new rule requiring gun dealers in states along the Southwest Border to report the sale of multiple semi-automatic rifles to a single buyer, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement:

“I have been calling on the Department of Justice and the White House to approve such a rule for some time, and this is a very important development,” Rep. Schiff said. “Existing law already requires dealers to report the sale of multiple handguns, and these reports provide invaluable leads to stop illegal gun trafficking. We know that semi-automatic rifles are the weapon of choice for violent Mexican drug cartels, and this rule will give law enforcement a badly needed tool to keep assault weapons out of the hands of criminals in the U.S. and in Mexico.”

“The international expansion and increased violence of transnational criminal networks pose a significant threat to the United States,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole in a statement.  “Federal, state and foreign law enforcement agencies have determined that certain types of semi-automatic rifles – greater than .22 caliber and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine – are highly sought after by dangerous drug trafficking organizations and frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest Border.  This new reporting measure -- tailored to focus only on multiple sales of these types of rifles to the same person within a five-day period -- will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations.  These targeted information requests will occur in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to help confront the problem of illegal gun trafficking into Mexico and along the Southwest Border.”

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