Access to gun records gives law enforcement tools to solve gun crimes and crack down on firearm trafficking
Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in urging Congress to pass the Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act, which would require the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to collect, preserve, and disclose gun records and gun tracing data.
The Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act would give local law enforcement agencies an important tool to investigate and solve gun crimes, crack down on gun trafficking and negligent gun dealers, and allow researchers to finally study gun violence and its impact on communities across the nation.
“With so many weapons out on the open market, keeping track of gun records and gun tracing data is a commonsense approach to disrupting illegal gun trafficking operations and helping law enforcement solve gun crimes,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act is a powerful tool that would consolidate and increase access to critical data on firearm use, providing information that could help inform local authorities’ efforts to keep deadly weapons off our streets.”
Since 2003, Republicans have attached the “Tiahrt Amendments” to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) yearly funding bill, restricting efforts by the ATF and FBI to collect, preserve, and provide transparency on a range of gun records and tracing data. The Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act would repeal:
· The prohibition on the ATF from releasing firearm tracing data for use by cities, states, researchers, litigants, and members of the public;
· The prohibition on consolidating or centralizing records that gun dealers are required to maintain;
· The requirement that the FBI destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours;
· The prohibition on the ATF from requiring gun dealers to submit their inventories to law enforcement to enforce the federal law requiring dealers report the loss or theft of firearms.
Senator Gillibrand has consistently fought to protect communities from gun violence. Last month, Senator Gillibrand joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to reintroduce the Background Check Expansion Act, which would expand federal background checks to all gun sales, requiring unlicensed sellers to conduct background checks, whether they do business online, at gun shows, or out of their homes.
Last year, Senator Gillibrand called for the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice to work toward the full implementation of the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) merchant category code (MCC) for gun and ammunition retailers, which would help law enforcement monitor suspicious firearm purchasing patterns that could constitute illegal gun trafficking.
Senator Gillibrand’s push for the implementation of the new MCC complements her anti-gun trafficking provisions from the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act that were included in the historic gun safety bill signed by President Joe Biden – the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. These measures crack down on individuals who engage in gun trafficking and those who sell or deal trafficked firearms, making gun trafficking a stand-alone federal crime.
Joining Senators Gillibrand and Menendez in cosponsoring this bill are Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).