Target: President Obama and members of Congress
Goal: To repeal dangerous laws that prohibit proper documentation on guns, gun owners, and inventory checks of gun retailers.
Beginning in 2003, a series of amendments have been added to the annual federal spending bill which limit the ability of the government and law enforcement agencies to access and share information about gun owners, dealers, and the illegal gun trade. Although certain improvements to the amendments, known as the Tiahrt Amendments, were made in 2010, many original elements that severely impair the ability of law enforcement to stop illegal firearm trade and track criminal gun owners remain on the books. Currently, the FBI is required to destroy data on approved gun buyers within 24 hours, and the government is not allowed to require gun retailers to conduct routine inventory checks. In addition, state and local law enforcement are restricted in their ability to use trace data in civil proceedings, which means that the information cannot be used to revoke the license of a gun-owner who broke a law. The Tiahrt Amendments have also prohibited the cohesive collection of data on gun ownership and restricted the police’s ability to effectively track and investigate the sale of firearms in the United States.
Because the FBI is prohibited from keeping long-term data on the background checks of gun owners, it is difficult to investigate gun dealers who falsify their records and those who purchase guns on the behalf of people who would be unable to pass a background check. These consequences lead to more guns in the hands of criminals. Due to the fact that the gun retailers are not required to perform inventory checks, hundreds of guns can end up missing or stolen without proper documentation. In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) found that 30,000 guns were missing from the inventories of just 9.3 percent of gun dealers in 2007. This lack of oversight leads to more undocumented guns on the street and a growing illegal firearms trade in the United States. All of the absence of documentation means that there is no comprehensive data on gun ownership and trade in the U.S., making it even more difficult to create policies that will effectively regulate the industry and increase gun safety across the country.
The right to bear arms is already protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Repealing the Tiahrt Amendments will not restrict citizens’ ability to legally own a gun, but it will help ensure that guns documented and are only legally sold to approved buyers. By signing the petition below, you can tell President Obama and members of Congress to repeal the dysfunctional and dangerous Tiahrt Amendments and make our country a safer place to live.
Dear Mr. President and Members of the United States Congress,
We ask that you ensure the safety of the citizens of the United States by fully repealing the Tiahrt Amendments. The Tiahrt Amendments impair the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate gun dealers who falsify their records and to discover those who purchase guns on the behalf of criminals who would be unable to pass a background check. They also contribute to the growth of the illegal firearm trade in our country through a lack of routine inventory checks. The amendments have resulted in a lack of comprehensive data on guns in the United States, making it that much more difficult to create policies that will effectively regulate the industry and increase gun safety across the country.
We respect the right of law-abiding citizens to own a gun, provided they meet all requirements and proper training. The Tiahrt Amendments, however, do nothing to further protect the Second Amendment and only serve to jeopardize the safety of American citizens.
Repeal the unnecessary and dangerous Tiahrt Amendments in their entirety. Doing so will help ensure guns do not end up in the hands of dangerous individuals and make our country a safer place to live.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michael Jastremski via OpenPhoto