Two phrase when combined scare the shit out of me; emergency powers and federal government. The ATF is look for emergency powers:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.” A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term.
The funny thing about emergency powers for federal agencies is the fact those temporary powers have a habit of becoming permanent. Likewise the number of guns going from the United States into Mexico isn’t that high. Why would drug cartels pay full price for semi-automatic rifles when they can get fully automatic AK-47s from neighbors to the south for far less? Of course the ATF has never been one to use logic nor common sense when doing anything.
I do find the last line interesting. If they’re claiming the emergency powers would only apply to “assault weapons” why not use that legalese instead of trying to term any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine as an “assault rifle?”