Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sensenbrenner's Gun Bill

Here's the report (excerpted) from CNS News:

Legislation expected before the U.S. House this week would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) greater flexibility to punish federally licensed firearms dealers and limit the agency's actions at gun shows. Another bill would forbid the ATF to release so-called crime gun trace data to cities, counties or states for use in lawsuits against the gun industry

...The Firearms Corrections and Improvements Act (H.R. 5005) is a catch-all bill designed to make permanent numerous regulations that have been signed into law over the years at the end of the appropriations process. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, a coalition of anti-gun groups came together on the anniversary of 9/11 to condemn the legislation and to try to tie its defeat to counter-terrorism efforts.

"After 9/11, we criticized law enforcement and intelligence agencies for not connecting the dots," said Joe Vince, former director of ATF's Crime Gun Analysis branch. "So what are we doing now taking the dots off the paper?"

While critics argue that the bill would prevent the ATF from sharing gun trace data with law enforcement agencies the plain language of the bill belies that claim.H.R. 5005 states that ATF trace data "shall not be admissible as evidence, and testimony or other evidence relying on the information shall not be admissible, in any civil action in a State or Federal court, or in any administrative proceeding other than a proceeding commenced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives." (Emphasis added.)

Note the emphasis above on CIVIL. CRIMINAL prosecutions are not hindered by the bill.

Attorney and firearms law expert Richard Gardiner told Cybercast News Service in a previous interview that "the bill says information can be released to law enforcement agencies -- federal, state or local -- in connection with a bona fide criminal investigation or prosecution, so law enforcement still would have access to the records if they request it."

In other words, the concerns of Jessica and the lefty wackos are met satisfactorily by the language of the bill.

But it still leaves Mayor Milk-Carton Tommy with a crisis--and there's not much the Feds can do about that, is there?

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