STATEMENT OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE UNDETECTABLE FIREARMS ACT
I commend President Bush for signing the bill to renew the Undetectable Firearms Act, one of the nation's essential protections against terrorism. The expiration of this law - scheduled to occur today - would have nullified gun screening systems in communities throughout the country and made citizens needlessly vulnerable to gun violence and even to terrorist attacks.
This measure is only one of several steps needed to protect citizens from gun violence. The most immediate priority is to defeat the provision added to the omnibus spending bill, at the behest of the NRA, requiring the destruction of firearm purchase records after 24 hours, instead of 90 days. This shameful change in the law will serve only the interests of terrorists and other criminals anxious to obtain weapons that can't be traced.
We also need to strengthen criminal background checks for gun purchases under the Brady Law, renew the assault weapons ban, and close the "gun show loophole" once and for all. Each of these gun-safety measures is needed to protect our people in communities across the country. I urge the President and my colleagues in Congress to act on these other vital measures as well.