The effort, sources told the newspaper, was shelved by Rahm Emanuel, then-White House chief of staff. The plan "was perceived as too volatile just before midterm elections," the Post reported. But the plan made it into the Federal Register last week after ATF Deputy Director Kenneth Melson asked DOJ to try again.
The emergency plan, published in the Federal Register on Friday, requires gun deals to report to ATF any sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles with a caliber greater than .22 and a detachable magazine over a five-day period. Dealers are already required (and have been for decades, according to the Post) to report the sales of multiple handguns to the ATF. The plan must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, and is valid for 180 days.
As TPM has reported, gun control advocates are unsatisfied with the progress being made during the Obama administration, which has steered clear of the volatile issue. The NRA, on the other hand, has opposed the administration's nominee to head ATF, making him unlikely to be confirmed.