News Releases

Jul 10 2014

COCHRAN AMENDMENT ADDRESSES GUN OWNER REGISTRY CONCERNS

Miss. Senator Offers Amendment to Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today reported that he has introduced an amendment to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation legislation that would forbid the federal government from supporting state, local or other organizational efforts to establish or maintain gun registries.

The Cochran amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S.2363) would clarify existing law that prohibits the federal government from storing information gathered as part of firearms background checks.  Without infringing on permissible law enforcement activities, the amendment would keep federal agencies from using any funding, resources or other means to help maintain full or partial gun registries by any other organization, including states and local governments.

“There is a growing concern about the government’s ability to collect and use our personal information, particularly with regard to the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to legally purchase and own firearms,” Cochran said.  “My intent is to close a loophole that could allow the use of federal resources collect and store personally identifiable information related to legal firearm purchases and ownership.”

The Cochran amendment is based on his Gun-owner Registration Information Protection Act, or GRIP Act (S.2105), which was introduced in March and endorsed by the National Rifle Association.  That bill was partly inspired by a March 2013 law in Mississippi that ensures the personal information of carry permit holders and applicants remains confidential and exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act.  (http://1.usa.gov/1fnVz6f)

Cochran, a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, is an original cosponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which the Senate began debating this week.  (http://1.usa.gov/1n6G9HV)

The sportsmen’s legislation represents a comprehensive effort to address federal policies affecting hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.  It incorporates several bills cosponsored by Cochran, including the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act to exempt ammunition and fishing tackle that contain lead from being regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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