ATF Whistleblower: NRA-Criticized Rule Is "Huge Tool" For Law Enforcement

August 10, 2011 2:12 pm ET — Chris Brown

Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), has been on a media blitz trying to defend an NRA lawsuit that attempts to block an executive rule aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of cartels and criminals. The new rule would require gun stores along the border with Mexico to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms  and Explosives (ATF) when a person purchases multiple long guns, such as the cartel favorite AK-47.

ATF agent and Fast and Furious whistleblower Peter Forcelli, whom the NRA has previously cited as an expert on tactics, disagrees with LaPierre. Forcelli told Political Correction that the "vast majority of ATF agents support the reporting requirement, because they know how it works."

LaPierre's argument is that the U.S. government can't defeat multi-billion-dollar cartels with a form:

Obama wants lawful firearms dealers to fill out a form whenever someone purchases more than one long gun.

That must be some form! The administration claims it will help stop cartels from bringing drugs and mayhem to our country. Really?

Explaining that "lawful gun owners have nothing to worry about" in terms of purchasing long guns under the rule, Forcelli said that the reporting rule would be a "huge tool" for the ATF to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the murderous cartels in Mexico.

He pointed out that the reporting requirement would be similar to the reporting rule for multiple sales of handguns, in place since 1968, which he said has not gotten in the way of lawful gun owners or sellers but has aided law enforcement efforts to stop gun trafficking. Forcelli further explained:

The long gun reporting rule is an investigative tool, a first step that allows us to monitor possible criminal activity. It is just a form that gun sellers would have to fill out, but it would give law enforcement a starting point to begin an investigation into guns before they made it into the hands of the cartels.

Currently, Forcelli said, the ATF finds out about potential straw purchasing with the help of cooperative gun stores alerting the agency, or when guns are actually used in crimes in America or Mexico and those guns are traced back to multiple purchases. He continued, "Although the vast majority of both gun owners and gun sellers are law abiding," the less than one percent of sellers and buyers who are bad apples are still able to funnel weapons to criminals.

Forcelli explained that the rule "gives us a head start to investigate potentially unlawful sales. It is just another investigative tool like fingerprints. Alone, the reporting requirement isn't going to stop illegal activity, but it is going to give agents another tool they can use to keep guns out of the hands of criminals."

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