ATF Loosens Restrictions on Gun Sales to Foreigners

Monday, December 26, 2011
The Obama administration has decided to eliminate a 1998 restriction on the sale of guns to foreigners, claiming federal law does not allow the government to have different gun-control rules for noncitizens.
In a letter to firearms dealers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said it would no longer require sellers to obtain proof from foreign buyers that they have lived in the state for 90 days. The rule was originally instituted after a disturbed Palestinian, 69-year-old Ali Abu Kamal, admitted to the United States on a legal nonimmigrant visa, bought a 380-caliber Beretta semiautomatic handgun in Florida and, on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York City, shot to death one person and injured six others.
“The Department of Justice … has recently concluded that, as a matter of law, applying a more stringent State residency requirement for aliens legally present in the U.S. than for U.S. citizens is incompatible with the language of the [Gun Control Act],” the ATF letter reads.
Some gun-control advocates criticized the change. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) said that eliminating the regulation defied “common sense and puts Americans at risk” because it could make it easier for foreign terrorists to obtain weapons inside the country.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Rules Eased on Gun Sales to Noncitizens (by Charlie Savage, New York Times)

Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) (pdf) 


DefendYourBase 8 years ago
Good thing my as$. Non citizens should not have the right to bear arms. If you want to bear arms. You better be a citizen first! 90 Days legal residency is a very reasonable. I guess all the gangs coming from Mexico should be able to just buy guns too right? Just plain stupid... Let all the student visa Jihad Camp Members buy guns too right?? This law was one of those laws Obama talked about "common sense law" This is common sense.. you dont let non americans buy guns in your own turf... Although its obvious Obama really isnt about making laws based on common sense if hes removing them from the books at the same time screaming more gun control for US Citizens.
TeaPartyPagan 8 years ago
This is a GOOD thing. Yes, it MAY make it easier for some terrorists to get guns, but it levels the playing field for those who are here legally and do not wish to be victims. Besides we have been assured by the Obama administration that all who enter this country have been properly vetted. But seriously, there are those coming here that were being hunted in their native countries. Denying them firearms just makes it open season on them here....
Nanjing03 12 years ago
a lot of "legal" alians are targeted and victimized by armed robbers, rapists, and other violent criminals because of the implication that they are always unarmed. only those persons who are suffering from schizophrenia and other "serious" mental illnesses, and those who have been flagged on the ncic database should be denied a legal purchase. that policy will deter many and slow down others, but any criminal or seriously mentally ill person can gain a weapon illegally.
Magnafan 12 years ago
this change still does not remedy the fact that a u.s. citizen non-resident cannot legally purchase a firearm in the united states.

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