ATF to Require Gunbuyer Information on Border

July 11, 2011 - 3:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Mexico, the Justice Department says gun shops in four Southwest border states will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles.

The new policy comes amid wide-spread criticism of a failed federal probe called Operation Fast and Furious aimed at dismantling large-scale arms trafficking networks along the Arizona border with Mexico.

Under the new policy, federal firearms licensees in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico must report purchases of two or more of some types of rifles by the same person in a five-day span. The requirement applies to purchases of semi-automatic rifles that have detachable magazines and a caliber of greater than .22.

ATF estimates it will generate 18,000 reports a year.