The Treasury Department yesterday denied that it has dropped a set of proposed new gun-control regulations, but conceded it is not likely they will be implemented in 1979 as originally proposed.
The department's statement came after news reports indicated that it had dropped the proposals in the face of pressure generated by the National Rifle Association, a powerful pro-gun lobby.
The regulations would require quarterly reports of all gun sales, unique 14-character serial numbers on each gun and immediate reports of thefts from dealers.
"The Treasury Department has not withdrawn or revised the proposed regulations it published on March 21," Assistant Treasury Secretary Richard J. Davis said yesterday.
"Because of great public interest in the issue, and because of the wide-spread incorrect information about the nature of these proposals that have been generated by some groups we have extended the comment on them until June 30," he said.
President Carter proposed the new regulations March 16 in an effort to make it easier for the government to track guns used uin crimes.
At least 200,000 people wrote to Treasury's Breau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms protesting the proposals. Almost immediately, Congress passed a resolution dropping $4.2 million - the amount needed to implement the regulations - from ATF's fiscal 1979 budget.
Chiles (D-Fla.), chairman of the Treasury appropriations subcommittee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Carswell wrote, "If a decision is made to implement any of [these regulations], it would be necessary to seek either a supplemental appropriation for 1979 or include a request for such funds in our 1980 submission.
"We will not implement these proposals without receiving from Congress the fund to do so."
NRA officials had raised the objection that the regulations were an attempt to "end run" Congress with administrative rules that exceeded Treasury's legal authority.
The administration is considering introducing a bill to control hand-guns. The effect on the bill of the furorover the regulations is not known at this time.