Why does the ATF want to know if a Gun Buyer is Hispanic?

Earlier this week, Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times reported on a little-noticed change, dating back to early 2012, in which the Obama administration’s ATF changed the 4473 form to require a gun buyer to declare whether or not he/she was Hispanic.  For decades, the form has included a block in which the buyer was to declare their race, but the requirement for self-identification as to Hispanic origins is relatively new.

Some excerpts from Riddell’s article:

Requiring the race and ethnic information of gun buyers is not required by federal law and provides little law enforcement value, legal experts say.  And gun industry officials worry about how the information is being used and whether it constitutes an unnecessary intrusion on privacy.

“This issue concerns me deeply because, first, it’s offensive, and, secondly, there’s no need for it,” said Evan Nappen, a private practice firearms lawyer in New Jersey.  “If there’s no need for an amendment, then there’s usually a political reason for the change.  What this indicates is it was done for political reasons, not law enforcement reasons.”


During the time ATF revised its 4473 form to include Hispanic or Latino as an ethnicity, the Obama administration was building gun control cases by saying U.S. firearms dealers were supplying Mexican gangs with weapons and that violence related to the sales was seeping across the border.

In March 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Mexico City and gave a speech against American gun stores and owners — blaming them for the drug cartels’ violence.  Mrs. Clinton subsequently told CBS News that “90 percent” of the “guns that are used by the drug cartels against the police and military” actually “come from America.”

About a week later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made the same points at a gun trafficking conference outside of Mexico City.  In April, the president himself flew down to Mexico to inform President Felipe Calderon that Mr. Holder was going to review U.S. law enforcement operations, according to a 2011 report by the American Thinker.

This political worldview may have fueled decision-making at ATF, Mr. Nappen suggests.


Although gun advocates speculate on the reasoning behind changing the form, on one thing they are clear: Requiring ethnicity and race to purchase a gun is a clear government overstep, violating Second Amendment rights.

For the full article, click HERE.