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US House committee rejects bids to permit public access to gun sale data

[JURIST] The US House Appropriations Committee [official website] voted Thursday to defeat two independent bids by lawmakers that would have repealed part or all of the "Tiahrt Amendment" [HR 2862 summary], which since 2003 has restricted the public release of information provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [official website] regarding gun sales. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) [official website] Tuesday introduced a bid [press release] that would have eased restrictions on data sharing while still protecting the names of police officers investigating relevant gun crimes. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) [official website] had introduced a bid that rejected the Tiahrt Amendment text in its full. Those in favor of the defeated bids said that the restrictions prevent state and local law enforcement officers from obtaining critical data that could help control gun-related crimes. Proponents of the Tiahrt Amendment argue that it protects the privacy of gun owners.

Previous attempts to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment were also defeated during the last Congressional session. Senate Bill 2460 [summary] and House Bill 5033 [summary] had similarly sought to permit public access to information on the Firearms Trace Systems Database. AP has more.

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