Julian Aguilar

Texas Tribune

Posted December 27, 2010

The federal government wants to curb violence on the U.S.-Mexico border by requiring Texas gun dealers to inform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when they sell two or more “long rifles,” including military-style assault rifles like the AK-47.

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As soon as next month, gun sellers with a federal firearms license in Texas could be required to furnish letters to ATF chronicling the sale of two or more semi-automatic rifles to one person within a five-day period. The policy covers guns with a caliber greater than .22 and a detachable magazine clip, including the AR-15 and AK-47s, which ATF says are increasingly being used in border crimes.

Gun rights advocates, including Gov. Rick Perry, say the policy is misguided and would unfairly target legitimate businessmen — the gun sellers — under the guise of securing the border.

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“The federal government as a whole ought to be focusing instead on securing the border to prevent the trafficking of guns — and people, for that matter,” said Katherine Cesinger, a Perry spokeswoman. “The strategy and the concept is flawed.”

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