WASHINGTON -- Ignoring a campaign promise to "repeal the Tiahrt Amendment," the Obama Administration maintained, in its proposed budget for FY 2011, the Bush-era language that requires the destruction of most Brady background check records, bans the government from requiring gun dealers to fully account for firearms in their possession, and prohibits public access to crucial information about crime guns.
The Brady Center highlighted President Obama's failed leadership on guns in its recent report card giving the President an “F” on preventing gun violence in his first year.
To read the report, go to: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/reports/fedleg/obama-1styear-report.pdf.
Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement on the Administration’s failure to remove the gun lobby language from its budget proposal:
"We are disappointed that President Obama has failed again to propose repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment as he promised during his campaign. Keeping this language in place endangers the public by making it easier for criminals to obtain guns.
"The Tiahrt Amendment undercuts the Brady Law by requiring the destruction of most Brady background check records in just 24 hours, allowing guns to remain in the hands of hundreds of criminals whose gun purchases were mistakenly approved.
"The Tiahrt Amendment also prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from requiring that gun dealers conduct annual inventories - a standard practice for any business- to ensure they are keeping track of the guns in their possession. The Brady Center found recently that more than 30,000 guns went ‘missing’ from licensed gun dealers in just one year. Gun dealers who ‘lose’ large numbers of firearms from their inventory are often supplying illegal guns to criminals. The D.C.-area snipers obtained the assault rifle they used to kill 10 people from a gun shop that ‘lost’ at least 238 guns, including the snipers’ assault rifle, over a three year period.
"President Obama has also maintained from last year his Administration’s ban on public disclosure of crime gun trace information. State and local law enforcement are not allowed to discuss non-confidential trace data with the public it serves. Before 2003, trace data was available to researchers, public officials, the media and the public, allowing for research and analysis of illegal guns, patterns of gun trafficking, and the role of gun dealers in supplying the illegal market. Policy makers need more, not less, information on crime guns and where they come from.
"Congress should get rid of the gun lobby’s language and do what the Obama-Biden ticket called for during the 2008 campaign when they said they ‘would repeal the Tiahrt amendment.'"
President Obama's promise on the Tiahrt Amendment: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/urban_policy/index_campaign.php
Brady Center Report Card on Obama Administration's first year record on gun violence prevention: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/reports/fedleg/obama-1styear-report.pdf