Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act - A Threat To Privacy

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The gun grabbing circus lead by Nanny Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, Everytown, Giffords, Brady United (Handgun Control Inc.), etc. would just love to see every protection for responsible gun owners abolished. Coming from none other than Senator Bob Menendez, from the freedom crushing land of New Jersey, is S. 974: Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act. The bill’s description is a little misleading, “To repeal certain impediments to the administration of the firearms laws.” If you start to dig through what on earth this is or might be all about, you’ll be greeted by a nice pile of legalese gobbledygook, but the intent is clear; to destroy the privacy protections for gun owners built into current law and to lay the groundwork for a national gun registry.

From the text of the bill in the “findings” section:

(1)The Tiahrt Amendments prevent the collection of valuable information, and the establishment of effective policies to prevent illegal guns from being used in crimes.
(2)The Tiahrt Amendments impede enforcement of the gun laws by requiring most background check records to be destroyed within 24 hours, and by barring the Federal Government from requiring annual inventory audits by owners of gun shops.
(3)A 2012 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the Tiahrt Amendments dramatically increased gun trafficking to the criminal market.

(10)Repealing the Tiahrt Amendments would support law enforcement efforts and give the public vital information needed to craft the most effective policies against illegal guns.

One of the most interesting lines from above is, “The Tiahrt Amendments impede enforcement of the gun laws by requiring most background check records to be destroyed within 24 hours, and by barring the Federal Government from requiring annual inventory audits by owners of gun shops.” If I were on the committee to discuss this bill, I’d ask Bob what laws are actually being impeded by that provision in the law?

So what are the “Tiahrt Amendments”? The gun banners at Giffords Law Center have this to say:

The Tiahrt Amendments significantly weaken law enforcement efforts to prevent gun crimes and prosecute gun offenders, they also limit researchers’ ability to study gun trafficking.

  • Prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing firearm trace data for use by cities, states, researchers, litigants and members of the public;
  • Require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours; and
  • Prohibit ATF from requiring gun dealers to submit their inventories to law enforcement.1

In addition to firearm trace data, the Amendments also prohibit the disclosure of data on multiple handgun sales reports as well as gun sales information a dealer is required to keep that may be required to be reported to the US Attorney General for determining the disposition of one or more firearms in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.2

Basically Menendez, through this bill, and Giffords, through their admission on their webpage, want to remove privacy protection for law abiding gun owners. There is a lot to both the Tiahrt Amendments and S. 974. For starters, if Giffords wants them abolished, we can all but assume it would negatively impact our freedoms. In my opinion, that is what Giffords, Menendez, et.al. are all about; stripping Americans from civil liberties, and controlling people.

Other provisions in this bill would “Repeal of limitations on imposition of requirement that firearms dealers conduct physical check of firearms inventory”. While I would hope most responsible gun dealers keep close tabs on their inventory, forcing them to physically check them at whatever interval the AFT dreams up would be impractical in most applications. Sure, the mom and pop gun shop up the road may only have fifty or so guns in stock, which is sill a decent amount. But what about the big gun shops that have hundreds, or thousands of firearms in inventory? There are already strict regulations on how FFLs have to store their firearms. If there has been no signs of theft of burglary, forcing a full cycle count of all goods would be imposed simply to punish gun dealers for having too many guns to sell.

Perhaps one of the more egregious sections of the bill reads: “Repeal of requirement to destroy instant criminal background check records within 24 hours”. Again, this was more of that “compromise” eluded to earlier. It is not explicitly stated in the bill what actual language that would be slated to be removed, but looking up what is referenced, this is what Menendez wants removed from law:

(1) the implementation of any tax or fee in connection with the implementation of subsection 922(t) of title 18, United States Code; and
(2) any system to implement subsection 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, that does not require and result in the destruction of any identifying information submitted by or on behalf of any person who has been determined not to be prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm no more than 24 hours after the system advises a Federal firearms licensee that possession or receipt of a firearm by the prospective transferee would not violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922
of title 18, United States Code, or State law.

Nothing in this bill will do anything to actually aid in public safety. In fact, all it will do is leave gun owners vulnerable to potential governmental overreach by allowing their information to be shared. I’d be interested to see the legal eagle’s view on this bill, as to me, it looks like another big erosion to protections gun owners were promised. The gun grabbing camp is playing the long game, as noted time and time again. They will sit and wait on the sidelines for the perfect time to strike and remove liberties from the American people. S. 974 is another seemingly innocuous proposal, but if you dig through the details, we can see it’s part of a bigger bait and switch.