The Obama administration decided to use Executive Orders back in July to mandate new firearms reporting requirements, but one San Antonio gun store is taking these anti-gun regulations to court.
Alex Hamilton, President of 10 Ring Precision Inc., has brought the suit against acting head of the ATF Ken Mehlman in U.S. District Court in San Antonio, Texas. In describing his reasons behind the lawsuit, Hamilton told the Texas Tribune:
“The whole thing is a waste of time...They don’t need to cause me to do more useless paper work when they have all the tools at their disposal."
The lawsuit alleges economic losses to Hamiton's business from both in-state and out-of-state purchasers who will refrain from buying firearms as a result of the infringement upon their privacy from the new reporting requirements. Hamilton also said his attorneys will assert in court that the rule exceeds the agency’s authority because it is not required by current law.
The regulations mandated by existing laws are already sufficient, Hamilton believes, to prevent and identify gun smuggling. There are also concerns about singling out certain states for new requirements, when gun smuggling can involve states far beyond the current range that targets those along the U.S.-Mexico Border.
"So if you’re in Texas you know you’ve got to do it, but if you go some cases 20 miles north, you don’t...like a bad guy wouldn’t go to Oklahoma."
Indeed, there are concerns that executive fiat from the White House could expand gun regulations in other states as a sets a precedent for executive authority trumping legislative prerogative.
As the Texas Tribune wrote today on the current state of the new regulations in the Lonestar State:
"The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a rule last week requiring licensed firearms dealers to report to the agency any time two or more long rifles are sold to the same buyer within a five-day period...The new requirement specifically pertains to rifles with calibers greater than .22 and capable of holding a detachable clip and that are sold in the four states that border Mexico, including Arizona, California and New Mexico."
Many in the gun rights community feel the new rules are arbitrary in conception and useless in application. Beyond that, all of this wrangling comes during a time of deepened suspicion between the federal government and the gun owners.
The now-infamous federal gun sting "Operation Fast and Furious" remains under investigation and managers in that operation face serious Congressional scrutiny for allegedly allowing guns to walk across the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Meanwhile, Hamilton's suit against the federal government is pending in court. The decision in the case could have far-reaching consequences for gun rights well beyond the great state of Texas.