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Gun Lobby Sues Justice Department Over New Border Gun Rules

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Gun Lobby Sues Justice Department Over New Border Gun Rules

Gun Lobby Sues Justice Department Over New Border Gun Rules

TUCSON, Ariz. — Two major gun rights groups filed lawsuits against the United States Wednesday to stop a new federal firearms reporting requirement. The new rules only affect the 8,500 retailers in the four states along the U.S.-Mexico border.

( EDITOR'S NOTE: Gun shop owners have also filed suit to prevent the implementation of the new rules.)

The lawsuits were not unexpected against the controversial rules.

The Obama Administration announced the rules two weeks ago. They require gun shops in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report the purchase of two or more rifles within five days. The rifles have to be greater than a .22 caliber and have a detachable magazine. The idea is to crack down on the straw purchasers arming Mexico’s drug cartels with U.S. weapons.

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Gun Lobby Sues Justice Department Over New Border Gun Rules

Both lawsuits were filed Wednesday.

The National Rifle Association ( NRA) is one of the plaintiffs. The lobbying group filed the lawsuits in Washington, D.C., Texas and New Mexico.

“The administration has no statutory authority to circumvent the will of the people or Congress to make this order," said Rachel Parsons, NRA spokeswoman.

Larry Keane is representing the National Shooting Sports Foundation ( NSSF). That’s a trade group that represents gun makers and retailers.

He said the reporting requirement targets legitimate gun buyers and opens them to federal scrutiny "so that ATF can gather information for intelligence purposes to then potentially see if they might open up an investigation.”

The new reporting requirements are set to begin August 14. The Department of Justice did not respond to our request for an interview.

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.