The federal law enforcement agency that has acknowledged losing track of hundreds of weapons in sting operations is trying to force legal gun dealers to do what it failed to accomplish: quickly report guns that get lost in transit.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which endured significant ridicule from the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, on Tuesday revived a decade-old and previously rejected regulation that would require gun dealers to report within two days any weapons that get lost in shipping.
A similar proposal was introduced by the Clinton Justice Department in 2000 but was shot down four years later by the Bush administration. Reviving the 14-year-old rule drew immediate outcries from the firearms industry, which argued that compliance would put them at the mercy of shippers such as FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.
“How are we supposed to have insight on UPS’ truckers or routes?” said Terry Haber, a sales representative at Fletcher Arms in Waukesha, Wisconsin. “Usually the first person to know if a shipment has gone missing is the retailer receiving the guns. If they don’t get their merchandise, you better believe we’ll all be looking for it.”