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A planned Obama administration clampdown on Mexico border gun dealers which would require them to report multiple assault rifle sales has been delayed by the White House amid stiff opposition from the powerful gun lobby.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said last month it would tighten reporting requirements to help agents gather intelligence to target smugglers running high-powered rifles to Mexico, where 30,000 people have been killed in drug cartel violence since 2006.

The measure would require around 8,500 gun dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report sales of two or more high-powered semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the same person within a five day period.

The White House Office of Management and Budget was expected to approve the emergency rule change on Wednesday. But an official with direct knowledge told Reuters that “ATF’s information collection request is still under review,” and declined further comment until the “deliberative phase is concluded.”

Gun control activists said they hoped the delay was just procedural.

“We have been very disappointed with the Obama administration for most of its first two years in office with regard to the gun issue,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Source: Tim Gaynor for Reuters.

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