skip to main content

S. 974: Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 25, 2021 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Is it an infringement on the rights and privacy of law-abiding gun owners?

Context

Firearm tracing is when law enforcement aims to figure out where a weapon recovered at a crime scene came from. On a federal level, the practice began with the Gun Control Act of 1968, which was enacted after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2003, former Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS4) introduced a provision which essentially banned the federal government from releasing its firearms tracing information and data except in a criminal investigation. Congressional Republicans renewed the provision and added other related limitations repeatedly in subsequent years, in ...


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 974

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 25, 2021

(for himself, Mr. Markey, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Booker, Mr. Reed, and Mrs. Gillibrand) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To repeal certain impediments to the administration of the firearms laws.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act .

2.

Findings

Congress finds as follows:

(1)

The Tiahrt Amendments prevent the collection of valuable information, and the establishment of effective policies to prevent illegal guns from being used in crimes.

(2)

The Tiahrt Amendments impede enforcement of the gun laws by requiring most background check records to be destroyed within 24 hours, and by barring the Federal Government from requiring annual inventory audits by owners of gun shops.

(3)

A 2012 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the Tiahrt Amendments dramatically increased gun trafficking to the criminal market.

(4)

A 2016 study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health found that in 2008, 79 percent of all guns recovered by police from crime scenes belonged to someone other than the perpetrator—30 percent had been stolen.

(5)

Every year, more than 123,000 Americans are shot.

(6)

2020 was one of the deadliest years on record for the United States, with an estimated 19,300 people killed in firearm homicides or non-suicide related shootings, which is a 25 percent increase over 2019.

(7)

In 2019, 58.9 percent of firearm homicide victims were Black and 15.9 percent of firearm homicide victims were Hispanic.

(8)

In 2019, the National Tracing Center at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives processed 450,000 trace requests on firearms from Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

(9)

Having effective policies to prevent illegal gun trafficking makes our families and communities safer.

(10)

Repealing the Tiahrt Amendments would support law enforcement efforts and give the public vital information needed to craft the most effective policies against illegal guns.

3.

Repeal of certain limitations on the use of database information of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

(a)

The matter under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 112–55; 125 Stat. 609–610) is amended by striking the 6th proviso.

(b)

The 6th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 111–117; 123 Stat. 3128–3129) is amended by striking beginning in fiscal year 2010 and thereafter and inserting in fiscal year 2010.

(c)

The 6th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 111–8; 123 Stat. 574–576) is amended by striking beginning in fiscal year 2009 and thereafter and inserting in fiscal year 2009.

(d)

The 6th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 110–161; 121 Stat. 1903–1904) is amended by striking beginning in fiscal year 2008 and thereafter and inserting in fiscal year 2008.

(e)

The 6th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title I of the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 109–108; 119 Stat. 2295–2296) is amended by striking with respect to any fiscal year.

(f)

The 6th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title I of division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 108–447; 118 Stat. 2859–2860) is amended by striking with respect to any fiscal year.

4.

Elimination of prohibition on processing of Freedom of Information Act requests about arson or explosives incidents or firearm traces

Section 644 of division J of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (5 U.S.C. 552 note; Public Law 108–7; 117 Stat. 473) is repealed.

5.

Repeal of limitations on imposition of requirement that firearms dealers conduct physical check of firearms inventory

The 5th proviso under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 113–6; 127 Stat. 248) is amended by striking and any fiscal year thereafter.

6.

Elimination of prohibition on consolidation or centralization in the Department of Justice of firearms acquisition and disposition records maintained by Federal firearms licensees

The matter under the heading Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Salaries and Expenses in title II of division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (18 U.S.C. 923 note; Public Law 112–55; 125 Stat. 609) is amended by striking the 1st proviso.

7.

Repeal of requirement to destroy instant criminal background check records within 24 hours

Section 511 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (18 U.S.C. 922 note; Public Law 112–55; 125 Stat. 632) is amended—

(1)

by striking and all that follows through (1); and

(2)

by striking the semicolon and all that follows and inserting a period.