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Reps. Torres, Engel, Schneider Introduce Bill to Update Reporting Requirements for Semi-Automatic Rifles

October 11, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today, Reps. Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) introduced the Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act. If approved by Congress and passed into law, the bill would require a federal firearms licensee to report the sale of two or more long guns, including semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and the AK-47, within a five-day period.


This bill’s introduction comes less than two weeks after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, possessed an arsenal of deadly firearms, including a number of semi-automatic rifles. However, because of a loophole in existing reporting requirements, his purchases never came to the attention of law enforcement agencies. 


“This bill is a long-overdue update.” said Rep. Torres. “Our law enforcement agencies need to know if anyone is stocking up on AR-15s and AK-47s. The multiple sales reporting provision that is already on the books has helped our law enforcement go after handgun trafficking rings across the country. There is simply no reason why we should exempt semi-automatic rifles from that provision.”


 “Too often after tragedies like Las Vegas, we ask why someone didn’t see this coming,” said Rep. Engel. “ATF is able to track the sale of handguns, but extending that to all firearms is an important first step to address the gun violence crisis in this country.”


 “Each day more innocent lives are claimed, and more families are devastated by senseless gun violence,” said Rep. Schneider. “It’s outrageous that long guns such as AR-15s are exempt from the reporting requirements that apply when someone purchases multiple handguns. This bill is a commonsense update to apply the same rules to all firearm purchases.”


A long-standing provision in the federal code requires gun dealers to file a report to law enforcement when two or more handguns or pistols are purchased in a five-day period. This provision dates back to the time when lawmakers and citizens were principally concerned about crime and violence involving handguns. Since then, however, semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and the AK-47 have become significantly more prevalent on America’s streets and have emerged as the weapons of choice for drug cartels in Mexico.