Rep. Mike Honda has led 42 other House members in urging the Obama administration to omit from its budget amendments that block law enforcement from being able to track firearms used in crime.
The Tiahrt Amendments are a set of policy riders that have been attached, for the last nine years, to annual appropriations bills. They prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from requiring licensed gun dealers to perform inventory checks; require that background check records be destroyed within 24 hours; and limit state and local law enforcement authorities’ access and use of ATF gun trace data.
“While pharmacies and other fields are required to check for inventory, guns are not. As a result, the restrictive Tiahrt Amendments have allowed thousands of guns to cross our border or to be purchased illegally without any oversight. These guns are now killing innocent Americans and limiting investigations by authorities,” Honda, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, said in a news release.
“I have worked for years on the Appropriations Committee to repeal these amendments and believe that now is finally the time to put common sense reforms in place to stop the flow of illegal guns and end the violence,” he said. “We must now ensure that the FY14 budget is clean of this language, which has never had a floor vote or a full debate.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, among the signatories of Honda’s letter, said the amendments “block access to vital information that lawmakers, police-officers, and federal agencies need to begin to tackle the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. We must treat gun violence for what it is: a public health epidemic, and no one would ever stop the Centers for Disease Control from tracking data on heart disease.”