The House and Senate Republican and Democratic leadership have reached a “deal” on extending three expiring provisions of post-9/11 legislation for four years. Following a procedural vote on Monday night, the real battle begins on the bill.
Gun Owners of America worked with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on legislation to exempt 4473’s (the form all buyers fill out when a gun is purchased from a licensed dealer) from that statute’s broad provisions. Sen. Paul will offer that amendment this week, assuming Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is not able to block the amendment from being offered.
Here’s a major concern: Assume the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) goes to the “secret court” (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or “FISA” court) and argues, without anyone else in the room, that ALL 4473’s should be seized as “business records” because they are relevant to a terrorism investigation.
Can it do that? It’s certainly a big enough danger to warrant our concern and that of Sen. Paul.
In 1986, Congress enacted the McClure-Volkmer Firearms Owners Protection Act to limit BATFE access to 4473’s and other gun records. Such records can only be viewed as part of a “bona fide criminal investigation,” in connection with a trace, or pursuant to an annual inspection.
But under McClure-Volkmer, the BATFE clearly could not seize every 4473 in the country because of a generalized terrorism investigation.
The Paul amendment would make it clear that McClure-Volkmer is still applicable law and was not overturned by 9/11 legislation.
ACTION: Contact your two Senators. Ask them to support the Paul amendment and to oppose any effort to invoke cloture (shut off debate) on the bill in order to make the Paul amendment out of order.
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