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Old August 2, 2011, 01:17 PM   #2
Tom Servo
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 12,295
The demand letter cites 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(5) as justification for the new requirements. The relevant section reads:

(A) Each licensee shall, when required by letter issued by the Attorney General, and until notified to the contrary in writing by the Attorney General, submit on a form specified by the Attorney General, for periods and at the times specified in such letter, all record information required to be kept by this chapter or such lesser record information as the Attorney General in such letter may specify.
In this case, the demand is coming from the Acting Director, not the Attorney General. Under law, Melson doesn't have the authority to require these forms, much less to delegate the matter to Houser. Therefore, the request is illegal in its current form.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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