During a mark-up of the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected, on a voice vote, an amendment by notoriously anti-gun Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Cal.). Feinstein’s amendment sought to gut the NRA-supported Tiahrt Amendment that protects the public disclosure of firearm trace data.
The Tiahrt Amendment prohibits the release of firearm trace data to any entity except a law enforcement agency conducting a bona fide criminal investigation involving the firearm. This language is critically important in ensuring politically motivated lawsuits (such as those being promoted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) don’t misuse this data to try and bankrupt the lawful firearm industry through reckless litigation. Additionally, as NRA and numerous law enforcement officers and agencies have continuously pointed out, release of this information also jeopardizes ongoing criminal investigations and the lives of law enforcement personnel involved with them.
Had Senator Feinstein’s amendment succeeded and ultimately passed into law, sensitive trace data could be abused by those who seek to erode our Second Amendment rights and undermine the efforts of the law enforcement community to arrest, prosecute, and punish criminals involved in illegal firearms activities.