In this March 27, 2006, file photo, a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and ammunition is seen at the Seattle Police headquarters in Seattle. In an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Mexico, the Justice Department says gun shops in four Southwest border states will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Ted S. Warren, AP file photo

PHOENIX (AP) — Gun store owners in states on the U.S.-Mexico border are suing the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. At issue is a new requirement that owners alert federal authorities if someone buys multiple high-powered rifles over five days.

The new requirement is only for gun stores in the four states that border Mexico: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

It goes into effect Aug. 14 and stems from a law enforcement operation in Arizona that resulted in high-powered weapons flowing into Mexico.

The gun store owners argue that the requirement is unlawful, would hurt them economically and invades the privacy of their customers.

The lawsuits were filed in Washington, D.C., Texas and New Mexico on Wednesday and Thursday. The National Rifle Association is funding them.

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