WASHINGTON—Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., is supporting a proposal to require gun dealers in southwest border states to report multiple sales of certain semi-automatic rifles.


            In letters sent Monday evening to Attorney General Eric Holder and Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew, Lieberman called the policy “a critically important investigative tool” in efforts to stem the flow of weapons into Mexico “without restricting the 2nd Amendment right of lawful purchasers” to buy firearms.


            The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has announced it will require southwest border state gun dealers to report for an initial period of six months multiple sales of semi-automatic, .22 caliber or greater rifles that are capable of accepting detachable magazines.


The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has held eight hearings since 2009 on border security and the violence wrought by Mexican drug cartels. Witnesses have testified that the shipment of guns purchased in the U.S. into Mexico is a critical component of the border violence. GAO has reported that between 2004 and 2008, 70 percent of guns seized and traced by Mexican officials were purchased in southwest border states. Guns purchased in the U.S. have also been used to slaughter our own law enforcement officers.


           Full text of the letter to Holder is here and the letter to Lew here.