WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The gun industry on Monday appealed a U.S. judge's decision to uphold new Obama administration regulations requiring gun dealers in four states bordering Mexico to report the sales of multiple semi-automatic rifles.
Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday the reporting requirements ordered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) last year were sufficiently narrowly tailored.
Because the reporting demand "was limited to only certain sales of certain guns in certain states, ATF did not exceed its authority," she wrote in a 21-page ruling.
Gun dealers backed by the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying group, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, challenged the requirements, arguing they would effectively require national registration of firearms sales, which they said the ATF was not authorized to do.
The dealers and the foundation filed notices of appeal with the district court. The appeal will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Dealers must report within five business days a sale of two or more semiautomatic rifles to the same person. That includes rifles with a caliber greater than .22 and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine.
The ATF issued the reporting requirements as part of a stepped-up effort to clamp down on the weapons flowing across the border to drug cartels in Mexico. The rules affect more than 8,000 gun dealers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California.
Mexican officials have complained bitterly about guns coming illegally from the United States. The gun industry has said the rules will have no impact on the cartels but rather burden law-abiding retailers.
(Reporting By Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Paul Simao)