During the Clinton administration, the FBI had access to records of gun background checks for up to 180 days. But in 2003, Congress began requiring that the records be destroyed within 24 hours. This requirement, one of the many restrictions on gun data sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), meant that Hasan’s investigators were blocked from searching records to determine whether he or other terrorist suspects had purchased guns. When Hasan walked out of Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., the FBI had only 24 hours to recognize and flag the record — and then it was gone, forever.
The idea that Tiahrt Amendment restricts this is utter nonsense. You can find the language of the actual Tiahrt Amendment on the Congressman’s web site here. MAIG might be slick compared to other gun control groups, but they would appear to carry over the tactic of using outright deception to promote their agenda. The language that calls for NICS records to be destroyed is in the United States Code, and has been ever since the system was established in 1994. From the 1994 Brady Act, which is the signature piece of legislation passed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (then Handgun Control Inc.), and which created the National Instant Check System:
(2) If receipt of a firearm would not violate section 922 (g) or (n) or State law, the system shallâ€”(A) assign a unique identification number to the transfer; (B) provide the licensee with the number; andÂ (C) destroy all records of the system with respect to the call (other than the identifying number and the date the number was assigned) and all records of the system relating to the person or the transfer.
Sorry, Bloomberg, it’s in the signature piece of gun control legislation, you know, the one that was rammed down our throats in 1993 and partly resulted in the Democrats losing Congress in 1994? Suddenly now it’s inadequate and is responsible for arming terrorists? Perhaps they need to complain to the Brady Campaign for pushing their signature legislation.
The problem for Bloomberg is that the truth is inconvenient. If a lie helps discredit the Tiahrt Amendment, which thwarted the City of New York from continuing its lawsuits against firearms manufacturers to hold them responsible for criminals using guns, so much the better. I’m only sorry a paper like the Washington Post is only so willing to play along. It’s not hard to fact check these claims, but it appears helping with the agenda is more important.
UPDATE: I would also point out there was nothing in the Tiahrt Amendment language that prevented law enforcement from tracing the firearms used in the Ft. Hood shooting. That’s how we know he acquired them through legal channels, since he was not convicted of anything prior.
UPDATE: Here’s the original appropriations bill that the Tiahrt language appears in. It does contain this language:
SEC. 617. (a) None of the funds appropriated pursuant to this Act or any other provision of law may be used forâ€”
(1) the implementation of any tax or fee in connection with the implementation of subsection 922(t) of title 18, United States Code; and
(2) any system to implement subsection 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, that does not require and result in the destruction of any identifying information submitted by or on behalf of any person who has been determined not to be prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm no more than 24 hours after the system advises a Federal firearms licensee that possession or receipt of a firearm by the prospective transferee would not violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or State law. (b) Subsection (a)(2) shall take effect not later than 180 daysÂ after enactment of this Act.
I should note that the current appropriations bill also contains this language (See Sec. 512). This language was necessary because the Clinton Administration had implemented a rule that allowed the records to be kept, despite what the Brady Act called for. Apparently this was upheld by the courts when challenged. So it would seem I was wrong, and Bloomberg isn’t lying about Tiahrt. Bloomberg merely wants the federal government to return to the previous practice of ignoring the Brady Act, and thus federal law.