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The Truth About H.R. 5005

Friday, June 23, 2006

It’s Not Found In The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Aided and abetted by the media “elite,” anti-gun groups continue to attack NRA’s efforts to protect confidential law enforcement data from abuse in court.  Over the past several years, amendments to appropriations bills for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) have contained provisions to prevent access to firearm trace data and firearm dealers’ records, except for legitimate criminal investigations.  H.R. 5005, the “Firearms Corrections and Improvements Act,” introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), includes language to strengthen those limits and make them permanent.

Right on schedule, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and New York Times editorials erroneously claimed H.R. 5005 would (as the Journal Sentinel put it) “throw behind bars cops who shared that information with officers from other jurisdictions.” New York City’s anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg (R), floated the same argument in his March testimony before the House Crime subcommittee. Bloomberg claimed that under H.R. 5005, the NYPD wouldn’t be able to get trace information on guns sold in New Jersey. 

Once again, the mayor and his anti-gun media cronies are wrong. Under H.R. 5005, if information on a gun sold in New Jersey is relevant to investigating a crime in New York, there’s no reason it couldn’t be disclosed to a New York agency. 

H.R. 5005 doesn't create any new crimes for police officers or anyone else; it simply blocks anti-gun governments from trolling through nationwide data to support reckless and politically motivated lawsuits against the firearm industry--the very type of suits enactment of the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” was intended to stop.  In doing so, it protects gun owners’ privacy, the integrity of investigations, and the safety of law enforcement officers. That’s why both the Fraternal Order of Police and BATFE have supported the appropriations amendments on this issue over the past several years.

Of course, NRA plans to work with the Congress as H.R. 5005 moves forward, to make absolutely clear that all law enforcement agencies can share necessary information for legitimate criminal investigations.  Be sure to contact your U.S. Representative to urge support and cosponsorship for H.R. 5005, and respond to any media articles that repeat these bogus claims about the bill.

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