Skip to comments.Lawmakers ask VP Biden for access to gun data
Posted on 01/12/2013 7:06:52 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
MINNEAPOLIS A joint statement from legislators asks Vice President Joe Biden to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ability to research gun violence.
The statement is signed by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and three other House Democrats. It says while the law does not legally prohibit data collection on gun violence, "it has a chilling effect on the CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control which compiles and analyzes data in order to help protect people from deaths and injuries both accidental and intentional."
Next week, Biden is expected to reveal anti-gun violence proposals that likely include a ban on sales of assault weapons, limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun buyers.
The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns also would like Biden to recommend an end to a set of rules they say hamstring local law enforcement efforts to get guns out of the hands of criminals. The rules restrict public access to gun data collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The rules are known as the Tiahrt Amendments, and are a set of riders attached to ATF funding. The Tiahrt Amendments came up during a regional gun summit in Minneapolis yesterday, when Mayor R.T. Rybak called for doing away with them.
The amendments were created 10 years ago by then-Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kansas. There are several restrictions, but foremost, the Tiahrt amendments forbid the ATF from sharing detailed gun trace data with the public. They also prevent the ATF from compelling gun sellers to conduct inventory checks, and prevent the ATF from using gun trace data in lawsuits against gun dealers.
Before Tiahrt, anyone could obtain ATF trace information by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, which meant they could find out the names of gun stores that were the source of crime guns. That led to lawsuits against gun sellers and gun makers. That trace data is available to law enforcement agencies, and they can't share it with the public.
Tiahrt also restricts the ATF from doing anything that would create a database of gun owners. Some legislators and Second Amendment rights groups have argued that gun registration is a step toward government confiscation of firearms.
The ATF cannot digitally organize or archive of the millions of names they receive each year who have purchased a gun from a federally licensed dealer. Instead, pictures are taken of the records and kept on film at its tracing center in Martinsburg, W.Va.
So, how does the ATF trace a gun when there's no database to search through? The ATF's tracing center receives about 1,000 requests daily from law enforcement agencies around the country and sometimes from outside the U.S. The trace request includes a firearm's make, model, serial number. The ATF must contact the firearm manufacturer who tells the ATF where that gun was shipped to. They then search the microfilm, sometimes through boxes of paper forms to find out which gun store originally sold the gun and to whom.
For more on the tracing center and Tiahrt Amendments, including a commentary from former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, read the MPR series Following the Firearms: Gun Violence in Minneapolis.
McCollum: NRA's Call for Guards and Guns in Every School is Madness - No legal organization in America is more responsible than the NRA for lobbying to ensure the proliferation of killer guns while denying law enforcement tools to stop killers. Wayne LaPierres call for guards and guns in every school building and playground is madness and a perverse vision for life in America.
In Congress, we need to move forward comprehensive legislation that bans assault weapons, closes the gun show loop hole, prohibits high capacity magazines, and gives law enforcement the tools to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. At the same time, Congress will protect the rights of responsible gun owners and hunters.
It is time for common sense Americans to come together to stop the NRA and make Americas neighborhoods and streets safer.
I don’t trust any numbers Joe makes up any more than i trust the global warming fantasy numbers.
Another looney leftist hag dragged out of the woodwork by the Obama Administration as one of his cheer-leaders.
Wow. So much bullshiite in one sentence.
First, I won't even touch the NRA reference.
Second, what is a non-killer gun? If there are killer guns, there must be non-killer guns.
Third, law enforcement is not tasked with stopping killers. That looks like a job for Superman or Batman.
Law enforcement, by its very moniker is tasked with enforcing the law. That means punishment for those who break the law. That means after someone is dead. By the nature of that fact, stopping killers would be crime prevention...not law enforcement.
I swear, sometimes I think that General Jack D. Ripper had it right. There HAS to be something in the water.
CDC is a political organization and historically anti-firearm. They always try to turn this into some kind of “medical” problem so they can start to regulate. The Democrats leave no stone unturned in trying to hornswoggle the public.
So then why does Congress need to beg for the information? Unless they wish to release it to the public?
What the Urnal News did for New York, the DemocRATS want to do for the entire US.
Hence the need for the Tiahrt Amendment in the first place.
I really wonder if "cannot" actually equates to "does not". Even storing this information on microfiche is a form of universal gun registration.
Sorry I don’t have any liberal friends..I left them behind when they voted for Clintons..To ignorant for me..