A collection of relevant and timely media clips and resources.
Posted on January 15, 2013
For over a decade, cities and anti-gun organizations sought access to confidential law enforcement data on firearms traces, both for use in lawsuits against the firearms industry and for use in questionable studies used to support their goals. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) compiles these records when it traces firearms in response to requests from law enforcement agencies.
Starting in 2003, the U.S. Congress passed increasingly strong language to keep this information confidential. The legislation—a series of "riders" to the appropriations bill that funds BATFE—is widely known as the "Tiahrt Amendment," after its sponsor, former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). That provision was made permanent in 2006 as a part of the fiscal 2007 Appropriations bill to fund the Justice Department. In 2009, the provision was amended to further strengthen the protections for undercover law enforcement operations and confidential informants.
Despite complaints from anti-gun activists, there are many good reasons for continuing to keep this information confidential:
NRA is committed to ensuring confidentiality of sensitive law enforcement information, and strongly opposes any effort to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment or any effort by the executive branch, or by state or local governments, to avoid its restrictions.
 Congressional Research Service, Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports 3 (June 30, 2006).
 Congressional Research Service, Assault Weapons: Military-Style Semiautomatic Firearms Facts and Issues (May 13, 1992).
BATFE/Federal Firearms Law Reform, Tiahrt, firearms trace data
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