By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — “The Obama administration on Monday approved a new regulation requiring firearms dealers along the Southwest border to report multiple sales of certain semiautomatic rifles, a rule intended to make it harder for Mexican drug cartels to obtain and smuggle weapons from the United States.
Under the rule, dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas will be required to inform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives if someone buys — within a five-day period — more than one semiautomatic rifle that accepts a detachable magazine and uses ammunition greater than .22 caliber. Such weapons include AK-47s.
…Mr. LaPierre contended that it should take an act of Congress to impose such a requirement, not a regulation developed by the executive branch alone. He noted that the similar rule requiring dealers to report multiple handgun sales was part of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
“We view it as a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to pursue their gun-control agenda through backdoor rule making, and the N.R.A. will fight them every step of the way,” he said. “There are three branches of government and separation of powers, and we believe they do not have the authority to do this.”