WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today introduced legislation that would prohibit any federal funding from being used to support a gun registry maintained by any other organization, including state and local governments.
The Gun-owner Registration Information Protection Act, or GRIP Act, would clarify existing law that bars the federal government from storing information acquired during the firearms background check process.
The GRIP Act would extend that prohibition to prevent any federal funding from being used to contribute to nonfederal gun registries. The Cochran measure has attracted 12 original cosponsors and has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
“The federal government should not play any role in misguided gun control initiatives that involve the storage or public distribution of personal information of law-abiding people who own or purchase firearms legally,” Cochran said.
“There is nothing in law today that says federal resources can’t be used, either intentionally or otherwise by a state or local government, to collect and store personally identifiable information related to legal firearm purchases and ownership. This legislation would close that loophole,” he said.
In addressing state and local gun registry programs, the expanded federal prohibition in the GRIP Act would ensure that states and local entities that benefit from federal grant programs, such as the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, do not use that funding to create or support full or partial registries of firearms information.
“Gun registries lead to confiscation. That's why they are at the top of every gun control supporter's wish list,” said Chris Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “Senator Cochran’s legislation recognizes this threat, and would block the use of federal funds to support gun registration schemes at the state or local level. On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, I would like to thank Senator Cochran for his leadership on this issue and his continued fight to protect our Second Amendment freedoms.”
The legislation does not include any limitations related to state recordkeeping for permitting, law enforcement-issued firearms, or lost or stolen firearms.
Cochran initially developed an amendment along the lines of the GRIP Act during the 2013 Senate debate on gun control. The gun control debate collapsed in April 2013 before the amendment could be offered.
The 2013 amendment, as well as the GRIP Act, was inspired, in part, by a Mississippi state law enacted through the leadership of Governor Phil Bryant in March 2013 that ensures the personal information of carry permit holders and applicants remains confidential and exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act.
Original cosponsors of the GRIP Act include Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Me.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).