Write your Representative today, call your Representative on Monday!
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the Tiahrt amendment sometime next week, possibly as early as Monday.
Whether your Representative serves on the Appropriations Committee or not, it is important that he hears from you, urging him to do whatever he can to ensure inclusion of these important protections in the BATFE budget appropriation.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Brady Campaign Against Guns have made defeat of Tiahrt their number one target in this session of Congress, turning what should be an administrative matter into a contentious political issue.
The Tiahrt Amendment protects firearms trace data from indiscriminate release, restricting it to law enforcement agencies in connection with bona fide criminal investigations. This keeps such data from alerting criminals to possible investigation, being used to fuel bogus civil suits against gun makers and dealers, or being promulgated in misleading ways for political purposes.
A message to your Congressman could say something like this:
Dear Representative ________,
My friends at The Firearms Coalition tell me that the Tiahrt Amendment to limit release of firearms trace data is nearing a vote; I urge you to do everything you can to ensure that these important safeguards continue to protect those who enforce the laws against illegal gun trafficking and also to protect law-abiding firearms dealers from defamation and ill founded lawsuits.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Fraternal Order of Police support the continued protections of the Tiahrt Amendment. They recognize that disclosure of this information in the past has interfered with investigations, alerted suspects to official scrutiny, and endangered officers, agents, and those assisting them.
BATFE has a separate division solely dedicated to analysis of trace data to detect criminal patterns, identify questionable dealers, and track illegal gun flow. They have programs and special units specifically dedicated to assisting local law enforcement agencies in effectively utilizing the data in efforts to reduce local crime, and they have their own enforcement division which actively work to shut down illegal dealers and traffickers.
Please take an active roll in ensuring that this sensitive data remains in the hands of proper law enforcement agencies and is not allowed to be carelessly released to the public or to government agencies which do not have a pressing need for the data or an understanding of how best to interpret or use the information.
Please vote for the Tiahrt Amendment to ATF appropriations when you have the opportunity to do so and urge your colleagues to do the same.
Please let me know what you intend to do to protect this data, police officers, and innocent firearms dealers.
This could be coming up for a vote in the Appropriations Committee any day and then will face a vote of the entire House of Representatives. Your immediate action is needed. Send an e-mail today and make a phone call on Monday to make sure your Representative is effectively representing you, not Mike Bloomberg and Sarah Brady.
For more information about the Tiahrt, see the latest Hard Corps Report; in mail boxes this week.
Yours for the Second Amendment,
Director of Operations
The Firearms Coalition