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Renewed Attack on Privacy of Gun Buyers

Friday, May 2, 2008

This week, anti-gun U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) registration legislation that would invade the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Cosponsored by like-minded Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Charles Schumer (D-NY), S. 2935 would, among other things, require the FBI to retain records of cleared firearm transactions for at least 180 days.  Current law requires federally-licensed firearm dealers to conduct a background check on a prospective buyer using NICS prior to selling a firearm.  NICS creates an audit log of the purchase during the course of the search.  Under current Justice Department regulations, those records must be destroyed within 24 hours to preserve the lawful purchaser’s privacy.  The Clinton Administration originally proposed keeping these records for as long as 180 days.  NRA successfully fought to reduce this time period to 24 hours.  Lautenberg’s legislation would undo this regulation. 

Once again trying to create a link where none exists, Lautenberg opined, “We must overturn the ill-conceived law mandating destruction of this data so we can successfully combat gun violence and terrorism in America.” 

This latest anti-gun scheme should further remind gun owners of the importance of this year’s elections.  S. 2935 demonstrates that threats to our Second Amendment rights remain very much alive.  Sen. Lautenberg has a long and well-documented anti-gun record, and in sponsoring legislation that is a gross invasion of law-abiding gun owners’ privacy, his intentions are clearly aimed at further restriction of those rights. 

For voter registration information for the 2008 elections, please visit:


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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.