Torres, Engel, Schneider Reintroduce Bill to Update Reporting Requirements for Semi-Automatic Rifles

September 12, 2019
Press Release

The mass shootings in El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH, and Gilroy, CA involved AR-15, AK-47, and WASR-10 assault style files

 

According to a recent report, 32 out of 115 mass shootings between 1982 and 2019 involved semi-automatic rifles    

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), and Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL) reintroduced the Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act to require federal firearms licensees 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. The bill’s reintroduction comes a month after the mass shootings in El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH, and Gilroy, CA. According to Axios, 12 of the last 31 mass shootings since 2017 have involved assault rifles.

 

“As a former 911 dispatcher, I’ve heard the cries on the other side of the line after a tragedy like El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. Those are the calls that always stay with you. There are simple fixes we can make right now to stem the epidemic of gun violence,” said Torres. “This bill will help strengthen law enforcement oversight when someone purchases multiple semi-automatic rifles. It’s a commonsense solution to make communities safer.”

 

“After horrific incidents like El Paso, Las Vegas and Parkland, many people ask how this can continue to happen,” said Engel. “We need to take meaningful action to ensure it doesn’t. I am pleased to join Reps. Torres and Schneider to reintroduce this critical bill to ensure the ATF is able to track the sale of all firearms, and not just handguns.”

 

“As every day more families and communities across our country are devastated by senseless gun violence, our elected representatives have a moral responsibility to urgently act to save lives,” said Schneider. “It’s outrageous that long guns such as AR-15s continue to be exempt from the simple, sensible 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.

 

The Multiple Firearms Sales Reporting Modernization Act has been endorsed by Everytown, Giffords, Brady, the Violence Policy Center, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Global Exchange.

 

“If a dangerous person is stockpiling firearms to commit a massacre or illegally traffic guns to other states, law enforcement should be the first to know. Special Agents would much rather prevent gun crimes than solve them after the fact, and this bill simply requires that ATF be notified by a gun dealer when a person purchases multiple guns in a short period of time. Enabling ATF to use methods proven to be effective in crime prevention just makes sense. We thank Rep. Torres for her leadership and urge Congress to pass this bill quickly,” said David Chipman, Giffords Senior Policy Advisor and former ATF Special Agent of 25 years.

 

“Firearm traffickers supplying criminal organizations in Mexico and other Latin American countries often make multiple purchases of assault rifles and long-range sniper rifles. The Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act would be an important step in efforts to combat cross-border gun trafficking,” said Kristen Rand, Violence Policy Center Legislative Director.

 

“Since 1968, federal firearms licensees have been required to report multiple sales or other dispositions of handguns to the same purchaser. There is no reason this longstanding requirement should not apply to all firearms. We applaud Representative Torres's for introducing the Multiple Firearm Sales Reporting Modernization Act, which would make this reporting requirement applicable to all firearm purchases,” said Dakota Jablon, MHS, Coalition to Stop Violence Director of Federal Affairs.

 

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