Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Political Report: AHSA and the Tiarht Amendment

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

POLITICAL REPORT

CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director

"Firearms trace data is collected by ATF for public safety, not for civil litigation. We urge members of Congress to continue to support the Tiahrt Amendment. Let's send the bad guys to jail, not civil court."

--Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police

here we were in St. Louis, in the midst of NRA's largest Annual Meetings ever, celebrating our freedoms with 60,000 of our closest friends and fellow NRA members. And who should show up to try and steal some spotlight but the poseurs at the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA).

Led by gun-ban lobbyist Robert Ricker and high-dollar underwriter of gun control groups and politicians Ray Schoenke, AHSA was hoping that the thin camouflage of their deceptive name would be enough to blend in. Their goal was to hold a press conference and fool the media into parroting their anti-gun agenda. That agenda, in turn, came straight from anti-gun luminary Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City and self-appointed Gun Policy Czar for the nation.

Who is protecting the nation's law enforcement officers? Let's go right to the best possible source and ask them.

Bloomberg itches to file a landslide of new lawsuits against the gun industry, but Congress has intentionally put obstacles in his way. Undeterred by the will of the people and the law of the land, Bloomberg is hell-bent to repeal the laws that stand in his way. His current obsession is pushing for repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment. Loyal readers know that this amendment, which must be passed annually, protects the privacy of everyone who buys guns at retail. It limits the disclosure of firearm trace data to law enforcement agencies working on a bona fide criminal investigation. It specifically prohibits the information from being released to lawsuit-happy mayors who are on fishing expeditions to blame their urban crime problem on the nation's law-abiding gun dealers and buyers.

Having met with resistance from congressmen who understand that the mayor of New York City doesn't run the country, Bloomberg financed the construction of a crude website to paint his campaign in the blue of law and order. The website features videos and tv ads of assorted length, all featuring one Scott Knight, the chief of police in Chaska, Minn. In the videos, Knight convincingly reads the script he's been given and demands that Congress strip the Tiahrt Amendment from this year's spending bill. Bloomberg has vowed to run the ads in the districts of key lawmakers.

What makes Chief Knight such an authority on national gun policy? Well, apparently he's a friend of AHSA's Ray Schoenke. And he has a police uniform. That's instant credibility in the video age.

But what are the real views of law enforcement groups and agencies--not individuals who are old buddies of gun control supporters--on the Tiahrt Amendment?

Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), answered that question in a recent newspaper commentary. Canterbury wrote that, "Some of America's mayors, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and Thomas M. Menino of Boston, would like you to believe that their Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition is about fighting illegal firearms in their cities and across the country. It's not."

These are strong words from FOP head Canterbury, but he goes on to back them up by writing in the April 24 Wichita Eagle,

"The principal goal of this coalition is the repeal of language that has repeatedly been passed into law for the past several years that prevents information on gun traces collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from being given to mayors pursuing civil litigation suits against firearm dealers and manufacturers."

Canterbury points out that officers working gun trafficking cases "know that releasing sensitive information about pending cases can jeopardize the integrity of an investigation or even place the lives of undercover officers in danger." That's why, he says, the FOP "has always supported language protecting firearms trace data, now known as the Tiahrt Amendment."

Canterbury also notes that ATF "has repeatedly gone to court to fight the release of its data, because the release can have a negative effect on its efforts to investigate illegal gun trafficking and threaten the safety of officers and witnesses."

Acting ATF Director Michael J. Sullivan also recently addressed the tracing data issue. He writes in an April 30 Scripps-Howard News Service commentary that his agency "considers this information law enforcement-sensitive, because it is often the first investigative lead in a case. We treat it no differently than fingerprint matches and other crime-scene information, since disclosure outside of law enforcement can tip off criminals to the investigation, compromise cases and endanger the lives of undercover officers, witnesses and confidential sources."

Congress, Sullivan notes, "has recognized ATF's crucial role in that investigative process and has protected our ability to share that sensitive data with law enforcement. The restriction did nothing more than to codify ATF's longstanding policy of sharing trace data with other law enforcement agencies for the purpose of conducting a criminal investigation."

Canterbury summarized the FOP position: "Firearms trace data is collected by ATF for public safety, not for civil litigation. We urge members of Congress to continue to support the Tiahrt Amendment. Let's send the bad guys to jail, not civil court."

Bloomberg ignores all of this reason in his continued push to repeal Tiahrt's privacy protections. But other states have not. This year, Virginia passed a law prohibiting bogus "stings" of gun dealers by hired gumshoes, and the state's attorney general recently sent Bloomberg a letter warning that his henchmen would face felony charges if they returned to the commonwealth.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's tv ads have met with similar resistance. The ads are intended to put pressure on key legislators, including Rep. Tiahrt himself, and are funded out of Bloomberg's pockets. But tv stations have refused outright to run them, with one station manager noting he could not "verify its claims." Bloomberg spluttered in outrage on his radio show, saying "You can't censor this kind of ad if you don't agree with the opinion," but the truth is that broadcasters can and do refuse to air ads that make false claims. "We are doing what responsible broadcasters do," Laverne E. Goering, kwch director of programming, told the Associated Press.

Let's tally up. Major law enforcement groups have said that Bloomberg is wrong about the Tiahrt Amendment--including the very agency, ATF, that the amendment regulates. tv stations have refused to run his ads because their false claims cannot be verified.

But the people who will eventually decide the fate of the Tiahrt Amendment are the 535 members of Congress. Will they listen to Bloomberg and believe his lies? Or will they listen to law enforcement and law-abiding citizens and renew the Tiahrt Amendment again this year? That's up to you and me.

 

TRENDING NOW
Anti-Gun Congresswoman Introduces Magazine Ban, Aims Slippery Slope at the Gun on Your Hip

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Anti-Gun Congresswoman Introduces Magazine Ban, Aims Slippery Slope at the Gun on Your Hip

We’ve been down this road before, and we know gun control doesn’t work. 

Everytown and Hollywood Launch New Campaign Against Pro-gun Legislation

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Everytown and Hollywood Launch New Campaign Against Pro-gun Legislation

In the wake of the still-unfolding Harvey Weinstein scandal, one might have thought that America would receive a brief reprieve from Hollywood’s ceaseless moralizing. However, on October 18, 2017, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, ...

Anti-Gun Billionaire George Soros Pumps $18 Billion into His Political Apparatus

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Anti-Gun Billionaire George Soros Pumps $18 Billion into His Political Apparatus

In recent years, Soros’s anti-gun efforts have been eclipsed by those of another billionaire, former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, the Open Society continues to attack American gun owners.

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 ...

NRA Doesn’t ‘Buy’ Politicians, but Gun Controllers Do

News  

Friday, October 20, 2017

NRA Doesn’t ‘Buy’ Politicians, but Gun Controllers Do

Gun control supporters who peddle the myth about NRA money aren’t only wrong, they are ignoring team gun control’s own sordid history of buying politicians. And forget Michael Bloomberg for the moment, gun control supporters ...

No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, October 20, 2017

No Sale: Marketing Tricks in Gun Control

Advertising professionals know that switching to a fresh new moniker and a more contemporary or dynamic logo can revitalize a tired or humdrum brand.

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.

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. 

Illinois: Gun and Magazine Ban Legislation to be Considered Tomorrow

Monday, October 23, 2017

Illinois: Gun and Magazine Ban Legislation to be Considered Tomorrow

The Illinois House is convening tomorrow for the 2017 Veto Session.  During this time, numerous gun control bills, including gun and magazine ban legislation, is scheduled for consideration.

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.