Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Chris W. Cox's Political Report: Ignoring S. 397

Thursday, July 27, 2006

POLITICAL REPORT

CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Freedom’s enemies want to eliminate gun owner privacy. Their intentions are clear—conduct massive fishing expeditions into the BATFE tracing database, examine the chain-of-custody of every gun BATFE traces, and then assign blame, file more baseless lawsuits and seek damages from everyone in their path, including you.

he ink has been dry on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act for only a few short months. Passed by both the House and Senate last year, and signed into law by President Bush last October, the law blocks baseless lawsuits intended to hold gun makers responsible for the acts of criminals. It protects our rights from a rogue judge or jury who could use such lawsuits to destroy the Second Amendment without so much as a single vote in Congress. And it became the law only through the concerted grassroots support of millions of NRA members like you.

That’s the way the system is supposed to work. Case closed, as they say.

It’s time to shut down the fishing expeditions for good, and a bill has been introduced in Congress to do just that.

But the enemies of the Second Amendment clearly don’t get it. In order to protect lawsuits still pending, gun-ban lawyers are claiming the law doesn’t apply to them. Their hand-picked anti-gun judges are bending over backward to deny the intent of the law and allow lawsuits under their jurisdiction to continue.

And now, the enemies of freedom have focused their sinister attentions on overturning a law that protects gun owner privacy. Their intentions are clear—to conduct massive fishing expeditions into the BATFE tracing database, examine the chain-of-custody of every gun that BATFE traces, and then assign blame, file more baseless lawsuits and seek damages from everyone in their path, including you.

New lawsuits are now on the drawing board, targeting retailers and their customers—gun buyers like you and me—for another round of lawsuit abuse in our nation’s courts. Watch for one coming soon to a courthouse near you.

Even the briefest recap of this development must begin in the Clinton administration. Under edict from the Clinton-Gore White House, tracing data was routinely manipulated, pushed and pulled like taffy to justify the latest Clinton gun control crusade. The data was also given freely to big-city mayors, who added their own ludicrous interpretations and used them to fuel their baseless lawsuits.

Several elections later, even with pro-gun majorities in place in Congress, BATFE trace data continued to flow freely into municipal lawsuits, like water through a valve the Clinton administration intentionally left flowing.

The Congress addressed this pressing matter, and precluded BATFE from using its resources to share the trace data with anyone except its intended audience—law enforcement agencies conducting bona fide criminal investigations. The Congress noted its reasoning in an annual report, saying, “It is of great concern that releases have occurred, and if repeated, may result in the widespread disclosure of this information to the public at large. This holds the potential of endangering law enforcement officers and witnesses, jeopardizing ongoing criminal investigations and homeland security. … In addition, such information, once released, might easily be disseminated through the Internet. This would endanger law enforcement and homeland security, and violate the privacy of innocent citizens and businesses.” (U.S. House Report 108-576)

BATFE did not object to the restrictions placed by the Congress; in fact the agency welcomed them. In a news release countering allegations made by the gun-ban lobby, BATFE repeated its long-held position that trace data was useless for justifying the baseless lawsuits. “Gun traces, for example, indicate only that a gun has come to the attention of law enforcement. They do not automatically implicate a dealer or purchaser in any wrongdoing.” (BATFE news release, July 16, 2003.)

But the risk to law enforcement officers and investigations, not to mention gun purchaser privacy, is merely an inconvenient obstacle to the anti-gun zealots who are hellbent on finding a new way to hold lawful gun owners and retailers responsible for third-party criminal misconduct.

Now, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has appointed himself the national champion of the campaign to lift the restrictions on BATFE trace data. Ironically, it was his own police chief, Ray Kelly, who wrote a letter to BATFE, saying, “The prospect that information obtained through these traces might be available for release by request to BATFE under the Freedom of Information Act is therefore quite disturbing. … I wholeheartedly support BATFE’s efforts to protect and preserve the confidentiality of firearms trace records and information.”

But the risk to law enforcement officers and investigations, not to mention gun purchaser privacy, is merely an inconvenient obstacle to the anti-gun zealots who are hellbent on finding a new way to hold lawful gun owners and retailers responsible for third-party criminal misconduct.

The implications of this debate are global in scope. Gun-ban zealots at the United Nations are pressing for similar provisions to be included in a proposed global gun-ban treaty—a proposal that will be considered this very month at a conference being staged at the U.N. One of the most prominent advocates for global gun control revealed the ultimate goal of the gun-ban crusaders, saying, “In order to hold governments, companies, and even individuals responsible when small arms and light weapons are used illegally, it is critical to have weapons biographies.”

This new coinage of “weapons biographies” does not mean a nostalgic memoir of days afield or targets broken. It means registration, but on steroids—an exhaustive registry of every firearm in your gun safe, tracked in minute detail from the moment its serial number was affixed to the day you brought it home. And if that firearm should be sold or stolen, and later used in a crime—or even just found and turned into local police for safekeeping—a routine BATFE trace will point the finger of blame squarely at you.

It’s time to shut down the fishing expeditions for good, and a bill has been introduced in Congress to do just that. H.R. 5005, introduced by one of our most stalwart friends in the House of Representatives, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, will permanently restrict the release of trace data. I urge you to contact your congressman today to express your support for this important bill. Visit NRAILA.org for contact info and more details.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Reckless Lawsuits
TRENDING NOW
California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 424, the remaining anti-gun bill on his desk. 

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

News  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

NRATV Host Cam Edwards describes a study that shows the ineffectiveness of so-called “universal” background checks

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Today, multiple gun control bills were released by the House Rules Committee and have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing.

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

News  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

The Spokane PD has 181 service rifles in its inventory; using suppressors on them has the potential to reduce workers compensation claims and lawsuits from bystanders.

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

News  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

On October 5, the New York Times published an article titled, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” The piece detailed allegations that the mogul used his position of influence to make unwanted ...

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

What happens to the 400 million or so firearms already in private hands? How does society actually benefit from his plan? Stephens doesn’t say. He apparently just trusts that things would eventually work themselves out ...

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, lower courts across the country have expressed their disagreement with – or downright hostility to ...

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Saturday, October 14, 2017

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Yesterday, Governor Brown took action on two of the remaining three anti-gun bills by vetoing Senate Bill 464 and signing Assembly Bill 7. 

Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming Soon to the Nation’s Capital!

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming Soon to the Nation’s Capital!

It’s important to celebrate that law-abiding Americans are now closer than they have been in nearly half a century to being able to exercise their firearms freedom in our nation’s capital. That is real progress.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.