The Crime Gun Tracking Modernization Act was first introduced in the last session of Congress and it died there… or so we thought. The bill was recently resurrected by Representative Bill Pascrell Jr.(D-NJ) and Senator Patrick Leahy(D-Vt.)
From a press release about the bill:
After a firearm associated with a crime is discovered somewhere in the United States, federal, state or local law enforcement officials contact ATF, which then must recreate the chain of custody of the firearm. But ATF is prohibited by law from electronically searching millions of gun sales records already in its possession. The absurd result is that ATF must comb through mountains of paper records manually, an extremely laborious process that delays timely investigations and drains law enforcement resources. Their legislation would update this process from the age of paper records to the age of electronic records, to enable electronic searching of these same records, aiding law enforcement authorities in catching criminals faster and potentially saving lives.
Earlier this month The New York Times highlighted this problem, which is centered within ATF’s National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Crippling restrictions on ATF have severely impeded its ability to efficiently inventory and quickly search the sales records of crime guns. The ever-growing collection of paper records at the National Tracing Center, which can be digitized but by law cannot be made electronically searchable, have become so voluminous that the floor has actually buckled under the weight of the paper records.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on President Biden’s nominee to serve as the next Director of the ATF, David Chipman. Only one ATF director has been confirmed by the Senate in the last 15 years.
This legislation is designed to allow the government to track firearms easier, meaning expanding the list of records the ATF and other agencies can keep and access. This will also give these agencies the ability to harass gun stores for documents.
Not that long ago we covered a story about Hunter Biden losing a firearm and the Secret Service moving in to run cover for him. In that story, we saw government agents quickly move in and find all records within days, maybe even hours. If this bill passes, the country would effectively have a registry and all it would take is one sneaky executive action or law passed for confiscation to begin. The ATF would be all too eager to begin the process of getting all those records from gun stores.
This proposed legislation is registration lite, don’t fall for the old “this law is about stopping crime” trick.