are not controlled the way other firearms
are, even though they may operate the same
as modern firearms.
The provisions, which have been renewed separately at various points, would prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from requiring gun dealers to conduct annual inventories to ensure that they have not lost guns or had them stolen, and would retain a broad definition of “antique” guns that can be imported into the United States outside of normal regulations.If these amendments sound like the opposite of what should be done to reduce gun violence, they are. What precisely is to be gained by not requiring a gun dealer to check to see if weapons have been stolen, perhaps by store employees and sold privately to people prohibited from owning firearms? Like violent felons or individuals with serious mental illnesses that make it too dangerous for them to own guns. And what purpose is served by a provision that requires the ATF to ignore evidence that, say, a certain kind of firearm or certain region of the nation is conducive to more gun-related crimes?
Another amendment would prevent the A.T.F. from refusing to renew a dealer’s license for lack of business; many licensed dealers who are not actively engaged in selling firearms can now obtain a license to sell guns and often fly under the radar of the agency and other law enforcement officials, which gun control advocates argue leads to a freer flow of illegal guns.
A final measure would require the agency to attach a disclaimer to data about guns to indicate that it “cannot be used to draw broad conclusions about fire-arms-related crimes.”
The backers of these amendments obviously expect Americans to forget why gun-control measures have emerged as priorities after being mostly dormant for more than a decade.