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Repeal Restrictions on Gun Trace Data


Repeal Restrictions on Gun Trace Data

What does it solve?

Since 2003, the Tiahrt Amendments have restricted law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute gun crimes. This data-blocking protects corrupt gun dealers and hinders law enforcement.

The amendments prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing firearm trace data. They require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours. The Tiahrt Amendments also prohibit the ATF from requiring gun dealers to submit inventories to law enforcement. Repealing these amendments would help solve gun crimes.

How it works

Repealing the Tiahrt Amendments would aid the enforcement of gun laws.

Crime gun tracing is a critical data source—it can help solve gun crimes, and it can also help identify where the guns used in crimes are originating from. But since 2003, NRA-drafted annual riders attached to U.S. Department of Justice appropriation bills—called the Tiahrt Amendments—have blocked the ATF from sharing this important data. This data-blocking serves to protect corrupt dealers and hinder law enforcement.

The Tiahrt Amendments restrict information investigators can obtain on where a gun was purchased and to whom it was sold. The amendments require the FBI to destroy records of approved background checks within 24 hours. They also prevent local governments and police from accessing federal gun trace data from areas beyond their immediate geographic area. This prevents the investigation of gun trafficking. The Amendments prohibit cities from using gun trace data in civil enforcement actions, such as gun dealers license revocations, and prevents the ATF from requiring firearms dealers to keep and regularly submit firearm inventories. These inventories are an administrative practice that could reduce the number of firearms reported lost or stolen by dealers every year.

By the numbers