The Obama administration is legally allowed to order gun dealers in Arizona and three other border states to report when individuals buy multiple guns, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
In a unanimous opinion, the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected arguments that the 2011 demand letter to the dealers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives violates federal laws which strictly forbid the government from creating a national firearms registry.
Judge Karen Henderson, writing for the court, said the letter was directed only at federally licensed firearms dealers in four states. Beyond that, she said they are required to report only instances where they sell two or more rifles of a specific type to the same person within a five-day period.
"The record discloses that the letter requires information about the covered transactions from only approximately seven percent of the total number of (licensed dealers) nationwide,'' she said.
Henderson also brushed aside claims that what ATF was seeking created an unreasonable burden on dealers. And she scoffed at the contention that the dealers might not know if the firearms sold fit the definition of what the ATF wants, saying that claim "blinks reality.''